ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian Lee On Fighting, And His Bout Against Kiamrian Abbasov

Christian Lee ONE Championship
Christian Lee ONE Championship

On 19 November, ONE Championship returns to Singapore for the final time this year. And no doubt it’s an event that will not disappoint. Headlining ONE on Prime Video 4’s stacked card is a champion vs champion bout featuring ONE Welterweight World Champion Kiamrian Abbasov against Reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian Lee.

The World Champion vs. World Champion showdown is undoubtedly a must watch affair for Mixed Martial Arts fans. After all, it will see lightweight king, Lee face reigning Welterweight champ Abbasov to enter the rarefied air of champ-champ status.

For Lee, the bout is extra special as he marks his up move to the Welterweight category just three months after he captured the lightweight gold at ONE 160. In that bout he avenged a previous loss to South Korean Ok Rae Yoon with one of his best-ever performances.

While “The Warrior” was looking forward to some downtime following that win, he couldn’t allow himself to pass up a golden chance at Abbasov’s crown. After all, it not only serves as an opportunity to contest for yet another championship but it’s a fight that will solidify his position as one of the world’s most talented fighters.

Christian Lee ONE Championship
ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian Lee

Lee comes from a family of true martial artists. His parents are black belt holders, and his older sister, ONE Women’s Atomweight Champion Angela Lee, is already an international star with ONE Championship. Although only 24 years old Christian Lee is already an accomplished and seasoned fighter as well as a four-time ONE Lightweight World Champion.

Ahead of his match-up against Abbasov in the main event of ONE on Prime Video 4, August Man catches up with Lee to find out more about his preparation for the matchup, fighting and his plans moving forward.

You have a big card coming up. What’s your mindset like facing off Kiamrian Abbasov on the 19th?

I am very excited to be facing Abbasov. Going into this fight, I’m going to treat it as me going into my first world title, so everything is going to be on the line. I definitely do not plan on leaving this to the judges.

You have had tremendous success in the lightweight, but what convinced you now to move up a weight class?

For me, a personal goal of mine has always been to become a double world champion in two divisions, so, when I got the opportunity to fight Abbasov for his World Title, I got very excited and took the fight as soon as I got the call.

What were the challenges you faced in your preparation to move up a category?

Physically, I had to adjust to my weight. I wanted to make sure I am able to put on the extra muscle but at the same time, keep the same speed I had when I was in lightweight. Mentally, it was just to prepare myself for another world title fight. It’s already something I am used to, but my job is to keep my mind sharp and make sure I stay focused on the task in front of me

Physical transformation aside, has it altered your fighting style in a significant way?

No, I think, at Welterweight, my fighting style is still going to be the same as it was at Lightweight.

You come from a family of martial artists, is the topic of fighting a staple in the Lee household?

Yes, definitely within my family. It’s always something we are talking about. With three out of four of us fighting professionally and my little brother starting his amateur career, it’s definitely something we are always talking about when we get together.

Your sister is also a champ, does she offer you tips and advice and vice versa?

Yes, she does. Although my sister is older than me, we kind of started our careers around the same time. So, it’s more of a mutual relationship where we both talk to each other and help each other with techniques and ideas, more so than a mentorship.

Before Abbasov, you were reportedly looking for some downtime. Why the break and what was the motivation behind changing your mind?

The reason I took the fight on such short notice is because of the opportunity. Coming off from my last fight, I did not have any injuries and I figured I will just take this fight, take one more fight and treat it as a continuation of my previous training camp. So, I was not worried about the short timing between the fights.

What’s next for you after this bout? Will we see you move back to the Lightweight category or stay with the Welterweights?

Yes, after this fight I plan on defending my Lightweight World Title.

Watch ONE Lightweight World Champion, Christian Lee aim for double-gold status when he challenges ONE Welterweight World Champion Kiamrian Abbasov at ONE on Prime Video 4.

(Images: ONE Championship)