Christian Lee takes Eddie Alvarez's slot for One bout

Fresh off his One Championship lightweight title win in Singapore in May, Christian Lee has stepped in as a late replacement for the injured Eddie Alvarez at the One: Century event taking place in Tokyo on Oct 13.

Mixed martial arts (MMA) organisation One announced this in a media statement yesterday.

Lee, 21, will face Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev of Turkey in One's lightweight world grand prix final, taking over from former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion Alvarez.

Lee, like his older sister, One women's atomweight champion Angela Lee, is a Canadian citizen but fights under the Singapore flag. Their father Ken is a Singaporean who has been based in Hawaii for over a decade.

While One did not disclose American fighter Alvarez's injury, its chairman and chief executive officer Chatri Sityodtong said: "I know Eddie is a true warrior and would have loved to compete under any circumstance, but training injuries are part of the game.

"I wish Eddie a complete recovery, and I know he will be back better than ever."

Chatri also revealed that Filipino fighter Eduard Folayang had agreed to replace Alvarez on short notice, but "visa issues" were a stumbling block.

So One turned to Lee instead.

Even though his title is not on the line, he said: "I believe a true champion should be ready to fight anyone at any time.

"I am more than happy to share this card alongside my sister, the champion."

Angela Lee will headline One: Century at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan in her bid to retain her One atomweight title against China's Xiong Jingnan. She will be aiming to avenge the first loss of her professional career to Xiong, who beat her in a fifth-round technical knockout in One's first-ever show in Tokyo on March 31 to retain her One strawweight title.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 01, 2019, with the headline 'Lee takes Alvarez's slot for One bout'. Print Edition | Subscribe