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Christian Lee: ‘I’m happy’ in ONE Championship, but would love to ‘jump across promotions’ for big UFC fights

“I know that if I step into the UFC, I can fight for the lightweight title, the welterweight title, and I feel confident that I could take both divisions.”

When it comes to the best fighters currently competing outside Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Christian Lee is commonly mentioned.

Officially 20 fights deep into his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career, Lee (16-4) has fought exclusively for ONE Championship and has been one of its staples since debuting in late 2015. Lee is already a two-time Lightweight titleholder at just 24 years old and because of that, fans have plenty of reason to believe he’d be capable of making a successful transition to the worldwide leader in the sport.

“I understand why everything is put in that way because the UFC dominates the U.S. market,” Lee told MMA Mania. “So, when they have such a good marketing platform and they’re promoting all of their fighters as the best fighters in the world then that’s going to be why everyone thinks that any other organization the fighters are going to be less. But, you know, I know that if I step into the UFC, I can fight for the Lightweight title, the Welterweight title, and I feel confident that I could take both divisions.

“Right now I’m here in ONE Championship and the thing about the whole MMA scene is, it’s not like the way boxing is,” he continued. “It’s not as easy to see two champions from other promotions fighting each other because of the whole contract situation. So, I’m happy here in ONE Championship. They’re treating me great, but I would love to go over and prove that I’m the best in the world across any organization. If one day things work itself out where fighters can jump across promotions and make big fights like that happen, I would definitely be all for that.”

At this current rate, Lee can go down as one of ONE’s all-time best if he keeps to his generally thrilling winning ways. In his next fight, “The Warrior” can take a major leap toward accomplishing such a claim.

Next weekend (Fri., Nov. 18, 2022) at ONE on Prime Video 4 in Kallang, Singapore, Lee follows in the steps of his sister, Angela, attempting to become a dual-division titleholder. Lee will make his Welterweight debut against reigning divisional champion, Kiamrian Abbasov, with intentions of walking away with two times the gold.

Beginning his career as a Featherweight, double-champ status has always been on Lee’s mind. Timing-wise, he felt that things have lined up perfectly despite just reclaiming the Lightweight crown in his last fight against Ok Rae Yoon in Aug. 2022.

“Ever since, I set out on my MMA career I’ve always wanted to win a world title and then next go on and become a world champion in two divisions,” Lee said. “After my last fight coming away with no injuries, I expressed my desire to fight for a second title, to move up to Welterweight. Then in the Welterweight division, it’s kind of been sitting still for some time.

“I feel like it’s kind of just in need of something to shake the division up,” he concluded. “For me coming off of that fight, I’m ready to go and Abbasov needed an opponent, I was more than happy to jump the line and take that fight.”

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