ONE Championship’s athletes may be hardened by battle, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have soft spots in their hearts.
From current World Champions to previous titleholders, many athletes have reached the pinnacle of martial arts due to a supportive partner.
In honor of Valentine’s Day this weekend, we spoke to three of our superstars about the loves of their lives.
#1 Christian Lee And Katie Allison Lee
“My wife and I met seven years ago at wrestling practice,” Lee says.
“We became serious as soon as we started dating in high school, and we’ve been inseparable ever since.”
Because Christian and Katie hit it off right away, there wasn’t much need for the reigning World Champion to court his love interest. Instead, they both knew that they wanted to be together long term.
“Just seeing her walking down the aisle, I could see all the years we’ve been together in one moment,” Lee recalls. “It was a very special moment for me. I was completely overwhelmed with joy.
“Everything is special about our relationship, and I couldn’t ask for a better wife.”
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#2 Sam-A Gaiyanghadao And Dtaengmo
Two-sport ONE World Champion Sam-A Gaiyanghadao has been with his wife, Dtaengmo, for more than 12 years.
Sam-A and Dtaengmo first met while the striking superstar was training Muay Thai in the northeast Thai province of Buriram. He was living at the gym, and Dtaengmo was living in a university dormitory opposite the Muay Thai camp.
Sam-A had noticed his future wife from afar. And one day, he had the opportunity to strike up a conversation. Almost a year later, they started dating, and things took off.
The striking superstar and Dtaengmo eventually got married and had two kids. But Sam-A, wanting to give his family a better life, made the hard decision to move to Singapore, where he teaches and competes out of Evolve.
Despite the distance between them, Sam-A and Dtaengmo have made it work. And when they do see each other, the moments are joyous.
#3 Geje ‘Gravity’ Eustaquio And Rose Alvarez
Former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio recently proposed to his longtime sweetheart, Rose Alvarez.
The two met in university. Eustaquio was racking up teaching hours to qualify for his master’s degree, and Rose Alvarez was a student.
“I got a friend request on Facebook,” Eustaquio says. “She was the one who added me, but I was the one who sent her a message first.”
After breaking the ice over social media, “Gravity” and Rose Alvarez started seeing each other often.
“We started having coffee dates at local gas stations. Yes – local gas stations. We got to know each other better, and then we went jogging and hiking,” he says.
After Rose Alvarez graduated, the two began dating more seriously, and Eustaquio eventually popped the big question.
“My proposal to her was a surprise because I did it at 11:55 p.m. of her birthday,” he recalls.
“I knew she got a hunch that I’d propose on her birthday, so I pretended like I wouldn’t do it. I was sensing a bit of disappointment and I was laughing inside, and then when she decided to sleep, that’s when I pulled out the ring.”