Lee stayed true to his word by earning a TKO victory in the first round over the erstwhile unbeaten top contender Iuri Lapicus to retain the ONE Lightweight World Title in the co-main event of the loaded ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX card on Friday, 30 October.
The match was expected to be a barn burner, and the young stars lived up to that billing at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Here's what went down in Christian Lee's first ONE Lightweight World Title defense against Iuri Lapicus! #InsideTheMatrix
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, October 30, 2020
“The Warrior” came out of the gates firing, but Lapicus caught the rushing World Champion into a straight right hand. A wobbled Lee then tried to pursue a takedown, but the Moldovan challenger overpowered the 22-year-old, slamming the Singaporean-American to the mat and landing in half-guard.
Lee did a good job of recovering, though. He managed to regain his feet before tripping Lapicus down to the canvas. The lightweight king landed in side control and then quickly jumped into full mount.
Then came the sensational finish.
Lapicus impressively slid out of the mount, grabbing Lee’s ankles as he went for an Achilles lock. But “The Warrior” stayed calm, rolling over and slithering out of the submission attempt while positioning himself on the Moldovan’s back.
The Singaporean-American then rained down punches from that position to score the sudden TKO finish at the 2:19 mark of round one.
Afterward, the young World Champion was naturally elated with the win.
“The way I trained, the way my team trains, we go for the finish,” Lee told Mitch Chilson after the match.
“We don’t train like it’s a game. We’re going for the kill. I was in a little bit of early trouble – we stuck to the game plan and ultimately, it led me to victory.”
The victory improved Lee’s record to 14-3 and continued his incredible run in the lightweight division, which started last year when he took the title from Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki and then continued with a sensational win in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Championship Final over Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev.