Ever since the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix kicked off with the quarterfinal round in January, Michael “The Voice” Schiavello has called the action from ringside.
This coming Sunday, 13 October, the promotion’s lead play-by-play commentator will call the tournament finale at ONE: CENTURY PART I, which emanates from the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.
Arslanaliev was originally scheduled to face “The Underground King” Eddie Alvarez, but the American legend pulled out of the contest due to injury. Lee stepped up on short notice to take his place.
Like most fans, Schiavello is intrigued by the new match-up, which pits the Istanbul-based heavy hitter against the ONE Lightweight World Champion.
“Christian Lee shows why he is the World Champion because he’s not afraid to step in there against absolutely anyone,” the Australian commentator says.
“I take my hat off to Christian Lee. I take my entire clothing off to Christian Lee for having the gonads to step in there and do this on a couple of weeks’ notice. He’s stepping in there against the guy that many people believe is the number one contender for his belt.
“For a young guy to step up on short notice against a martial arts monster, against a human wrecking ball, against an absolute machine like ‘Dagi,’ no one else in the world would do that, let alone a man with championship gold around his waist.”
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Arslanaliev has been on an absolute tear since making his mixed martial arts debut in February 2014, in which he has compiled a professional record of 8-1.
The “human wrecking ball” has a spotless 100 percent career finishing rate, having knocked out six opponents and submitting another two.
“This guy’s finishes have been mostly in the first round. His combined time in the Circle has been next to nothing. He just dismantles and demolishes anyone who is put in front of him,” Schiavello continues.
“You know ‘Dagi’ is going to go for the headache-maker. He’s going to go for the big ‘Goodnight, Irene.’ He’s going to go for the one-punch knockout.”
Lee, however, can bang with the best of them.
In fact, eight of his 12 career wins have come by way of knockout. Most recently, he knocked out Japanese martial arts icon Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki in May to claim the lightweight belt.
“Here you have two of the highest-level finishers in all of ONE Championship, in all of the martial arts world,” Schiavello adds. “This one won’t go the distance.”
However, if the bout does go the scheduled three rounds, Schiavello believes “The Warrior” could have a few different paths to victory.
“Christian Lee has to take ‘Dagi’ where he hasn’t been before,” the Australian commentator says.
“Maybe he can get ‘Dagi’ to gas out so it goes to the second, maybe even the third round, and then try to hunt for a finish. Or maybe even smarter, try to outpoint ‘Dagi.’
“Get ‘Dagi’ into the third round and we’ll really see what he is made of. We’ll really see if the hype train lives up to the hype taking on the World Champion.”
Tokyo | CENTURY | ONE Championship’s 100th Live Event | Tickets: Purchase here
- Watch PART I in USA on 12 October at 8pm EST and PART II on 13 October at 4am EST
- Watch PART I in India on 13 October at 5:30am IST and PART II at 1:30pm IST
- Watch PART I in Indonesia on 13 October at 7am WIB and PART II at 3pm WIB
- Watch PART I in Singapore on 13 October at 8am SGT and PART II at 4pm SGT
- Watch PART I in the Philippines on 13 October at 8am PHT and PART II at 4pm PHT
- Watch PART I in Japan on 13 October at 9am JST and PART II at 5pm JST
ONE: CENTURY is the biggest World Championship martial arts event in history with 28 World Champions featured across various martial arts. No organization has ever promoted two full-scale World Championship events on the same day.
The Home Of Martial Arts will break new ground as it brings multiple World Title bouts, a trio of World Grand Prix Championship Finals, and several World Champion versus World Champion matches to the famous Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on 13 October.