ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian “The Warrior” Lee continued his dominant reign over the division with another stunning World Title victory.
The Singaporean-American superstar was facing arguably his biggest challenge to date in Russian slugger Timofey Nastyukhin at “ONE on TNT II” on Wednesday, 14 April, but he wasted no time dispatching the challenger via TKO in round one of their mixed martial arts contest.
Lee showed that he wanted to mix things up early, as he went for a double-leg takedown with his first real offense of the opening frame. However, Nastyukhin took the first advantage when he easily fended off the attempt and remained upright.
“The Warrior” stayed on his toes as his Russian rival tried to stalk him around the Circle, and he feinted another shot to gauge Nastyukhin’s reactions.
Lee then shot out a quick high kick, but the Novokuznetsk native replied with a thudding low kick that momentarily buckled the defending World Champion’s lead leg. Nastyukhin continued with his forward charge, but it was this predictable aggression that led to his downfall.
Nastyukhin lunged in with a looping right hand, but “The Warrior” stepped back out of danger and let rip with a crunching counter left hook. The challenger’s own forward momentum carried him into the strike, while Lee’s pinpoint accuracy meant the hook found its mark on the chin.
The Russian dropped to his knees, but the United MMA and Evolve athlete did not miss a beat, instantly swarming his foe with powerful right hands.
As Nastyukhin tried to better his position, “The Warrior” kept on pounding away with hurtful punches until the referee had no choice but to intervene and call off the bout after just 73 seconds.
Ahead of the match, many were focused on Nastyukhin’s striking power, but Lee said he was well-prepared and knew exactly what he needed to do when under fire.
“Timofey likes to go in there and go for the knockout, so our game plan was based on that,” the reigning titleholder told Mitch Chilson after the bout.
“Speed and accuracy beats power, so that’s what happened tonight.”
With the win, Lee pushed his record to 15-3 and notched a second successful ONE Lightweight World Championship defense. At just 22 years old, he also extended his record of most wins (15) and most finishes (14) in ONE Championship history.