ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian “The Warrior” Lee has held the title for nearly two years, and during that time, he’s dominated every man in front of him.
First, it was Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev who lost to the Singaporean-American with a definitive unanimous decision.
Then it was Iuri Lapicus who fell to Lee via spectacular first-round knockout.
Now, the World Champion will try to continue his impressive run against #3-ranked lightweight contender Timofey Nastyukhin in the World Title main event of “ONE on TNT II”, which will air on 14 April on TNT in the United States.
“I’m very honored that ONE Championship feels that I’m a big enough draw to put me as their main event,” Lee said.
“The way that I fight, I like to bring the action from start to finish, and I’m always looking for the finish. I’m very, very grateful that ONE Championship thinks of me as an exciting fighter who can draw fans.
“I’m just extremely grateful to be headlining such a big event on TNT. It’s a great honor for me to be in the position of Lightweight World Champion, where they’re calling me up asking me to headline their events. I still remember when I was first starting in ONE Championship, I was the first bout of the night on the prelim card.
“Now I’m stepping up on TNT, headlining big shows. It’s just great. And I’m so grateful that ONE Championship has that faith in me.”
Lee isn’t solely focused on headlining the event, though. After all, he won’t be doing that alone. On 14 April, he’ll be stepping into the Circle with a dangerous and powerful Russian.
In previous interviews, Lee has spoken about his respect for the Russian’s power and his own path to victory.
But the World Champion is also looking toward the future and a potential matchup against a lightweight mixed martial arts legend.
“ONE Championship signed Eddie Alvarez to see if he can make his way up to the top and claim the belt – and that belt is mine, and it’s not going anywhere,” Lee said.
“I definitely plan on facing Eddie Alvarez somewhere down the line. Iuri was the #1 contender [before losing to Lee in October], and he was the last guy to fight for the belt, so I feel that if Eddie can finish Lapicus (at “ONE on TNT I” on 7 April), or get an impressive win over him, he’s definitely going to be next in line for the belt once I get past Timofey.
“I’m not looking past my opponent in front of me, but I’ll be keeping an eye on that matchup. I see Eddie as the only guy left in the lightweight division that I haven’t taken out. Timofey is right here in front of me. I’m not looking past him, but other than Timofey, it’s just Eddie.”
It won’t be easy to get past Nastyukhin, but Lee is sure that the Russian star won’t present anything he can’t overcome.
“I don’t want to come off as cocky, but I do feel that I’m the best lightweight fighter in the entire world. And that doesn’t mean just ONE Championship – that means every organization,” Lee said.
“I’m absolutely confident that I would come out on top against any champion, in any division, that they put me against. I feel that I’m the best in the world, and I’m more than happy to step in there and show it.”
With that said, “The Warrior” is expecting a short night against Nastyukhin, and he believes there’s only one way it’s going to end.
“I see this fight going down within two rounds. You know, he’s a tough guy, and I’ll be looking to take him out in the first, but I don’t see him getting out of the second,” Lee said.
“I’m going to put a very, very fast pace on him from the moment the bell rings, and from there, I just don’t think he’ll be able to hang with me. I think I’m going to drown him with my pressure.”
In the meantime, download the ONE Super App to catch ONE: FISTS OF FURY on 26 February from Singapore, where Christian’s younger sister, Victoria “The Prodigy” Lee, will make her ONE debut against Sunisa “Thunderstorm” Srisen.
Additionally, ONE: FISTS OF FURY will be headlined by a World Title fight between reigning ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion Ilias Ennahachi and #2-ranked contender “The Kicking Machine” Superlek Kiatmoo9.
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