Features

‘A Special Athlete’ – Ken Lee Explains Why Son Christian Lee Is Such A Unique Competitor

Aug 16, 2022
ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian Lee with father Ken

As both father and coach to Christian Lee, Ken Lee has guided the superstar athlete from his first day on the mats to World Championship success in MMA.

Now, the United MMA expects another elite performance when “The Warrior” rematches reigning divisional king Ok Rae Yoon for the ONE Lightweight World Title at ONE 160 on August 26.

Ken has long recognized Christian’s skill, buit he thinks it has reached a new level now that the 24-year-old is becoming a veteran of the sport.

He said:

“Christian always had a lot of talent growing up as a child. From when he started his career until now, the main difference would just be adding the experience to his game where he can control his pace and his rhythm a lot better. 

“As a young fighter, he had one speed, and he would go full blast into everything, which was good. But now, he is able to switch gears a lot more.”

Before coming up narrowly short in his World Title loss to Ok last year, “The Warrior” was on a six-fight winning streak – including five KO finishes.

Moreover, he’d won the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Championship to pair the tournament’s silver belt with his gold.

That run made it clear that Christian was a premier lightweight, though Ken also thinks his son is a truly rare breed of competitor.

He said:

“He’s a special athlete and a special martial artist. What makes him different on a technical level is that he has the ability to not just perform at an elite level in every range of mixed martial arts – from the striking, the wrestling, to the jiu-jitsu – but his intellect. His ability to transition from range to range flawlessly really is much more mature than a lot of fighters who’ve been doing it a lot longer. 

“On a personality level, he definitely has the warrior spirit. There is no quit in him. He’s the hardest worker in the room, always. And he has that ability to always push for the finish.”

Ken Lee Expects Christian Lee To Adapt Well In Ok Rae Yoon Rematch

Just like his son, Ken Lee believes that Christian Lee deserved to earn the decision in his first ONE Lightweight World Title showdown with Ok Rae Yoon.

But while they were disappointed to drop the belt, the Hawaii residents took lessons from that 25-minute battle and plan to apply them in “The Warrior’s” upcoming rematch with the South Korean.

Above all, Ken wants Christian to read the situation and react accordingly so that he can avoid leaving anything to chance this time around.

He added:

“We did dissect [the fight] and look at areas in which we can improve. We know there are some things that we could have worked on a little bit more, and we just move forward and start preparing for the rematch.

“Christian has the ability to keep [the game plan] the same and win in an absolute manner. Or he can change the game plan.

“A lot of it depends on what Ok brings that night also, but as far as Christian, he has the ability to switch gears and change it up based on whatever the situation calls for.”

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