ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian “The Warrior” Lee’s first World Title defense has come a bit later than expected because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lee won the World Title in May of last year after defeating Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki, then he turned it into a grand slam months later when he beat Saygid Guseyn “Dagi” Arslanaliev in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix.
While plans were delayed and matches were pushed back, Lee now feels better than ever about his spot at the top of the division.
“Many people say that you’re not a true World Champion until you defend the belt, and in many ways, that is true. But once you win the belt, you win the belt,” Lee told ONEFC.com.
“Although this is my first title defense, taking on ‘Dagi’ in the Grand Prix Final was really my first title defense, as he was the top lightweight contender.”
Now he officially gets to defend his strap when he takes on unbeaten number-one contender Iuri Lapicus in one of the four World Title bouts at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX next Friday, 30 October, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
In Lapicus, he takes on an opponent who is more than willing to go toe-to-toe with him from start to finish – and that’s exactly the kind of competition Lee wants in his first World Title defense.
“With Iuri Lapicus, I was really excited to hear that he was going to be my first fight back. He’s done well in his career to earn that #1-contender spot. I give all the credit to him, and I think he’s definitely a worthy opponent,” Lee said.
“This is his first title shot and a big opportunity. When he steps into the Circle with me, he’s going to come out guns blazing, trying to take my head off. I do feel like that if it does go into the later rounds, I will have the edge over him.
“But just the way our styles match up, I feel like it’s going to be an early clash, and we’re going to see who’s got the better of each other.”
Asked about his expectations of the match, Lee believes that it’s going to be the most action-packed bout of the evening.
“My fight is going to be the most exciting because I’m going to bring the fight from start to finish. I have no reservations when I step into that Circle,” he said.
“I’m not thinking about the belt or pleasing any fans or anybody else. I’m just worried about stepping in there and taking out the man in front of me as quickly as possible.”
And when that moment comes, don’t blink – because Lee promises something spectacular.
“We’re going to meet in the center of the cage, and my experience is going to come into play,” Lee said. “I’m going to get a first-round TKO finish.”
Watch ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX next Friday, 30 October, live on One Sports+ or the ONE Super App at 8:30 p.m. Philippine Standard Time (PHT). One Sports will air the event on a same-day delay at 9 p.m. PHT.
Additionally, TV5 will air the event on a next-day delay at 11 p.m. PHT on Saturday, 31 October.
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