Singapore star Christian “The Warrior” Lee is using the sting of defeat to inspire him to greater things.
Lee has a career record of 9-2, with both losses coming against the same man – ONE Featherweight and Lightweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen.
While another loss is never the goal for a bout, Lee is taking the positives from his recent split-decision defeat to Nguyen as he looks to continue his improvement as a martial artist, and renew his quest for World Championship gold.
“I learned a lot in my last fight,” he says.
“I feel like it has helped me to realise that I still have a lot of work to do. It helped me to realise that I need to train even harder to finish every opponent I face.
“It is never a good time losing a fight, but I am not going to sit here and dwell on it. The only thing I can do is get up, get back to the gym, and work hard for the next one.”
After that defeat, Lee took some time for rest and relaxation as he enjoyed the sights and sounds of Singapore before returning home to United MMA in Waipahu in Hawaii.
And on 8 September in Shanghai, China, “The Warrior” will make his return to action a wiser, better, more experienced martial artist.
Lee will take on Filipino star Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly at ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON at the Baoshan Arena in a battle between two contenders who have finished every one of their career victories to date.
Kelly is also equally keen to bounce back from defeat, having lost out to former ONE Featherweight World Champion Narantungalag Jadambaa at ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER in June.
“I have been following Edward’s career for some time. I respect him as a person, and as a fighter,” Lee says.
“The most dangerous part about fighting a guy like Edward is that he is always looking for the finish. Whether it is on the feet or on the ground, if you give him the opportunity for him to finish the fight, he will.
“I feel my biggest advantage over Edward is that I am deeper in every area of the game. With all due respect to Edward, I feel that I am a better fighter everywhere. I want to go out there and impress the fans, and put my name right back into title contention.”
Lee’s respect for Kelly also extends to the gym from which he hails. Baguio City’s Team Lakay is having a year to remember in ONE Championship, and Lee says Kelly’s team has to be admired for all they have accomplished in the sport.
“I have a lot of respect for Team Lakay,” he explains.
“They are all great people, as well as great fighters. They train extremely hard, and I feel like their work ethic is why they have gone so far and why they produce so many champions.
”It is great that Edward is from a great team, and it is great that I am from a great team. But at the end of the day, it is two men stepping into the cage together. It does not matter where he comes from, and it does not matter where I come from.
“When the cage door shuts, it is just going to be me and him.”
When the bout starts, martial arts fans across the world should expect to be riveted as two of the most exciting featherweight talents on the planet go head to head.