After defeating Ok Rae Yoon, Christian Lee wants to bring back the Lightweight Grand Prix.
Christian Lee has faced the toughest fighters in ONE Championship’s featherweight and lightweight divisions.
But it wasn’t his first world title battle against Martin Nguyen, nor his lightweight title defense against knockout artist Timofey Nastyukhin, that was the most challenging for him.
Lee’s hardest challenge came in the final round of the 2019 ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix, when he faced Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev in a three-round fight on short notice.
Lee easily dispatched Arslanaliev, scoring a unanimous decision over the man dubbed the “boogeyman” of the promotion’s lightweight category.
Lee recalled his first World Grand Prix experience, saying, “I had 10 days to lose 10 pounds and fly to Japan to fight the number one contender in the lightweight division.”
“I wasn’t in fight camp, I wasn’t training, and I took the fight against [Arslanaliev], who was the No. 1 contender, so that fight was my toughest so far, even if it was only three rounds, simply because I had no preparation for it. I wasn’t in fighting shape, I didn’t have a thorough training camp, and I took on a difficult opponent. That was the most difficult battle I’d ever faced.”
Lee will face Ok Rae Yoon of South Korea in the main event of the upcoming ONE: Revolution on Friday, September 24, with a chance to completely clean out the lightweight division’s Top Five.
Ok is ranked third in the lightweight division and the only fighter in Lee’s top five who he has yet to face and defeat.
If Lee defeats Ok, as many experts predict, he will have defeated all of the division’s top fighters, with no new competitors in sight.
While his perspective is correct, it puts the division and the ONE Championship brass in a difficult position. However, the champion has a tried-and-true solution.
“I believe it would be a wonderful idea to hold another Lightweight World Grand Prix. The lightweight division would receive a lot of attention as a result. There’s no one left in line for the lightweight title after Ok Rae Yoon, and there’s no one left for me to defend my title against,” Lee remarked.
“I believe it would be exciting for the division and a wonderful method to determine the actual No. 1 contender.”
Lee’s brilliant solution not only gives a fan-friendly method for determining who comes next, but it also allows unique challengers to enter the fray. Brief News from Washington Newsday.