Christian Lee (11-3) may be getting another shot at ONE Championship gold sooner than later.
The 20-year-old featherweight fighter has been linked to a potential ONE Lightweight Championship bout with champion Shinya Aoki (43-8), who reclaimed his title on the weekend in Tokyo, Japan.
Aoki made easy work of Eduard Folayang in the main event of ONE: A New Era, forcing him to tap to an arm-triangle submission in the first round. Many fans believed that Aoki’s victory would leave him sidelined until the ONE Lightweight Grand Prix is concluded, considering that the winner of the tournament will be getting a shot at Aoki’s title. However, Aoki surprised many when he explained to reporters at the post-fight press conference that he’d like to fight Christian Lee next.
Chatri Sityodtong, CEO and Chairman of ONE Championship, shared the story on Facebook today and explained that his mind was ‘blown’ by the prospect of these two mixed martial artists going head-to-head. Furthermore, Sityodtong explained that he is ‘seriously thinking of making this crazy fight happen.’
The Body Lock has heard from sources close to the situation that this fight is currently being seriously discussed.
Christian Lee’s ambitions to become a two-division champion
Earlier in 2019, Christian Lee spoke with The Body Lock’s John Hyon Ko about his status in the featherweight division and indicated his intentions to move up to the lightweight division.
“I am in a bit of a tricky situation where I’m the number one contender in my division, however, I just fought the champ in May,” Lee explained.
“The thing is, right now, I have almost completely cleared out my division.”
With more time, Lee would have liked to participate in the ONE Lightweight Grand Prix.
“By the time I found out about the Lightweight Grand Prix, it was pretty much too late to put my name in the hat, as they were all top contenders already and they were chosen. However, if a slot opens up I’m definitely in. I’m eager to fight the best, whether it’s at featherweight or lightweight. Definitely, I plan on moving up eventually.”
“However, I also plan on being a multi-division champion. My goal is to take out the featherweight division first and then move up to lightweight.”
Chatri Sityodtong’s full statement:
“At the post-fight press conference of ONE: A New Era, one of the Japanese reporters asked newly crowned ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki who he wanted as his first world title defense. Shinya said that he wanted a dangerous, young lion. When the reporter asked again, Shinya replied with a name. Much to my shock and surprise, Shinya said Christian Lee. My mind was blown. Given that all of the top lightweights are currently tied up in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix though, I am seriously thinking of making this crazy fight happen!
What do you think?”
Jake Nichols is The Body Lock's Editor in Chief. Previously, he was the MMA Editor at RealSport.