Lee gets second shot at One lightweight title

Christian Lee, 20, will challenge Shinya Aoki for his One Championship lightweight belt in Singapore on May 17.
Christian Lee, 20, will challenge Shinya Aoki for his One Championship lightweight belt in Singapore on May 17.

Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Christian Lee is a man in a hurry.

The One Championship rising star may just be 20, but he is champing at the bit to stamp his mark in the sport, and he will have an opportunity to do just that next month.

The Singapore-based organisation yesterday announced that Lee will headline its Enter the Dragon event, slated for May 17 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, by challenging for Shinya Aoki's title.

It will be Lee's second shot at the lightweight title, after a unanimous decision loss to then champion Martin Nguyen in May last year.

Japanese submission specialist Aoki, 35, won the belt off Eduard Folayang in Tokyo last week after choking the Filipino fighter out in the first round at A New Era event.

Said Lee: "I will prove that I am the best lightweight in the world. It will be an honour to share the ring with Shinya Aoki and our styles will make for an exciting match."

Lee is the younger brother of women's atomweight champion Angela, 22, who faltered in her bid to become One's first two-division women's champion after losing to Chinese strawweight Xiong Jingnan in Japan last week.

The Lee siblings have a Singaporean father and fight under the Singapore flag, even though they are not citizens.

Christian has an MMA record of 11 wins - all stoppages - and three losses, while MMA legend Aoki boasts 43 wins and eight losses.

It was also announced that former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter Sage Northcutt, 23, will make his debut at Enter the Dragon after being unveiled as One's athlete last December. He will face 36-year-old Cosmo Alexandre of Brazil.

The American boasts a record of six wins and two losses in the UFC after making his debut in 2015 when he was just 19.

One founder and chief executive Chatri Sityodtong also noted the Singapore show will feature the lightweight grand prix semi-final bout between Saygid Arslanaliev of Turkey and Ariel Sexton of Cuba.

Both men featured in the last One event in the Republic, Call to Greatness, on Feb 22 and won their respective quarter-finals.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 06, 2019, with the headline 'Lee gets second shot at One lightweight title'. Print Edition | Subscribe