CHRISTIAN “The Warrior” Lee did not have to accept the bout against Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Championship Final at ONE: CENTURY PART I on Sunday, 13 October.
However, the Singaporean warrior wanted to prove that he is always ready for a challenge – even on short notice.
An injury forced Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez to pull out from the finale at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan, and Lee took the bout with barely three weeks left.
“Last week, my dad got the call saying Eddie Alvarez was injured. They called everybody they could who could be in line to take his spot, but there was no one,” the 21-year-old Evolve MMA martial artist revealed.
“There were visa issues and other issues with some of the fighters they called, so their last resort was to ask me. I couldn’t turn it down. I said, ‘Of course I will take it.’”
Lee added that not many would have accepted the bout under these circumstances, but the ONE Lightweight World Champion is game to take on anyone at any time.
The only concern for Lee was that he did not want to put added pressure on his sister, "Unstoppable" Angela Lee, who defends her ONE Women’s Atomweight World Title against China’s Xiong Jing Nan in the main event of the same card.
Both siblings help each other during training camps and have always been in each other’s corner in every battle in ONE Championship.
“I just wanted to double-check with Angela to make sure she was okay with everything. I didn’t want to put too much stress on her for this event. As long as she was good with it, it was a go for me,” he said.
“She told me to take it, and I sent my word of approval that I would take it.”
“Dagi” now presents Lee with a challenge he has been waiting for – seven of the Russian athlete’s last eight wins have come in the opening stanza.
But Lee believes his experience with overcoming adversity could play a pivotal role in the outcome of this duel.
“I’ve lost before. I’ve been in fights where I was losing, and I was able to come back. I think a big thing in this match-up will be how he deals with adversity when I put the pressure on him,” Lee said.
“I know that I’m the toughest opponent he’s faced.”
The Home Of Martial Arts brings multiple World Title bouts, a trio of World Grand Prix Championship Finals, and several World Champion versus World Champion matches to the famous Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on 13 October.