‘It’s A Big Time’ – Christian Lee Pumped For ONE’s U.S. Debut, Wants Saygid Izagakhmaev Next
After 21 professional bouts outside of his home country, reigning ONE Lightweight and Welterweight World Champion Christian Lee is itching to compete in front of his American fan base – and on May 5, 2023, he may just get his chance.
On that day, ONE Championship touches down on U.S. soil for the first time with ONE on Prime Video 10 at 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colorado. The blockbuster event will be headlined by the ONE Flyweight World Title trilogy fight between divisional king Demetrious Johnson and top-ranked Adriano Moraes.
The Singaporean-American recognizes how significant the historic event will be. After all, it will mark another huge step in ONE’s global expansion and introduce the world’s largest martial arts organization to its Western fan base live and in person.
The move into U.S. markets, Lee says, naturally follows ONE’s landmark 2022 deal with streaming giant Prime Video, which brought ONE Championship shows to primetime viewers in North America.
“The Warrior” tells ONEFC.com:
“It’s exciting. I’m so glad that ONE Championship is finally coming to the U.S. They’ve been doing so great, completely dominating in Asia. And now with the Amazon Prime deal touching down in the U.S., I think that it’s a big time for ONE Championship.”
The 24-year-old champ-champ, who does most of his training at United MMA in Hawaii, expects ONE’s biggest American superstars to stack the card with mixed martial arts GOAT “Mighty Mouse” leading the way.
“It could only make sense to put the U.S. fighters on that card, the first time they’re touching ground in the U.S. They have a lot of guys on the roster, so of course DJ’s a big one. He’s going to be headlining the event.
“You know, just anyone flying the U.S. flag would be smart to put on that card.”
Christian Lee Targets ONE Lightweight World Title Defense Against Saygid Izagakhmaev
Naturally, Christian Lee sees himself as one of the American stars competing on ONE on Prime Video 10. And if he finds himself standing in the Circle on that night, he already has an opponent in mind.
After wresting the ONE Welterweight World Title from Kiamrian Abbasov in November at ONE on Prime Video 4, “The Warrior” plans to return to lightweight and defend his belt in that division.
According to Lee, the next and most obvious challenger is #3-ranked contender Saygid Izagakhmaev:
“Man, if I’m on that card, my plan was to defend my lightweight belt, so I’ll do it against Saygid. I’m sure that I’ve heard he wants the title shot. I’m sure he’d be more than willing to take that fight. Doesn’t matter who they throw at me, but in my mind I see that as the next fight.”
Indeed, the surging Dagestani has looked unstoppable in his three fights in ONE Championship, most recently dismantling former lightweight king Shinya Aoki in under one round.
While the champion has never been one to pick his opponents, Lee believes that Izagakhmaev’s trio of sensational victories is enough to warrant a shot at his throne.
Speaking of a potential World Title showdown with the Russian, Lee adds:
“[Saygid’s] definitely a clear contender in the lightweight division right now. I don’t see anyone else with the kind of momentum that he has.
“For me, I try not to play matchmaker too much. I just go in there and do my job, so whoever they throw at me, I’m ready.”