Ever since he became the ONE Lightweight World Champion, Christian “The Warrior” Lee knew he needed to stay ready at a moment’s notice for any and all challenges.
Beyond helping his sister – “Unstoppable” Angela Lee – prepare for her ONE Atomweight Women’s World Title defense at ONE: CENTURY PART I this Sunday, 13 October, Lee looked forward to the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Championship Final between Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez and Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev on the same night.
But when an unfortunate injury forced Alvarez to withdraw from the tournament finale, “The Warrior” was asked if he could stand-in for the American icon.
Despite the extremely short notice, the Singaporean did not hesitate to accept the challenge.
“There are not a lot of World Champions who will take a fight on two weeks’ notice – I can tell you that,” Lee said. “I took it because I believe a World Champion should be ready to fight anyone at any time. For me, it’s just another challenge, and I’m looking forward to overcoming it.”
But before he accepted the bout, the younger sibling made sure his decision would not affect his older sister’s own bout in Tokyo, Japan.
“I didn’t want to put too much stress on her for this event,” Lee said. “She was good with it – she would never ask me to turn a fight down. She told me to take it, and I sent my word of approval that I would take it.”
While “The Warrior” helped his sister prepare for her match, he managed to stay in peak condition throughout.
“Every day I was just coming in, working with her, watching her sessions, and really, I wasn’t focused on fighting at the time,” Lee said.
“They gave me the call, and I knew the shape I was in was good enough to take on anyone. I’m going to have to beat everyone in the lightweight division anyways – it’s either now or later.”
With the showdown against “Dagi” just one day away, the Evolve MMA and United MMA representative respects and praises Arslanaliev’s skill.
“The thing about ‘Dagi’ is he’s a true martial artist. He’s very well-rounded in every area,” Lee said. “He’s got heavy hands, he’s got great wrestling, and he’s got a black belt in jiu-jitsu as well.”
However, unlike the Turkish sensation’s past opponents, Lee believes he has what it takes to avoid a similar fate and defeat Arslanaliev.
“He’s a dangerous opponent. He’s finished every single one of his fights,” the 21-year-old said. “No one has been able to work out how to defeat him yet, but that’s simply because he hasn’t fought me yet.”
Even though “Dagi” made short work of his foes in both the quarterfinals and semifinals, the Singaporean thinks his experience with bouncing back from adversity could be the Turkish athlete’s undoing.
“I think that’s going to play a big advantage to me. I’ve lost before. I’ve been in fights where I was losing and I was able to come back,” he continued.
“I think a big thing in this match-up will be how he deals with adversity when I put the pressure on him. I know that I’m the toughest opponent he’s faced.”
Catch all the action and more at ONE: CENTURY, the biggest World Championship martial arts event in history.
The Home Of Martial Arts breaks new ground as it features 28 World Champions, four World Title bouts, three World Grand Prix Championship Finals, and four World Champion versus World Champion matches.
The action happens at the famous Ryogoku Kokugikan on 13 October in Tokyo, Japan.
ONE: CENTURY PART I begins on Toggle at 8:00am Singapore Standard Time (SGT) on Sunday, 13 October. Once the prelims are over, Toggle airs the main card at 11:00am SGT.
Also, the show will air later in the evening via special delay on CH 5 at 11:00pm SGT.
ONE: CENTURY PART II starts on Toggle at 4:00pm Singapore Standard Time (SGT). Once the prelims are over, Toggle airs the main card at 6:30pm SGT.
Also, the show will air Thursday, 17 October via special delay on CH 5 at 11:00pm SGT.
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