Christian Lee: A Champion Just Being a Company Man

Oct 9, 2019

Fighters taking bouts on short notice is commonplace in mixed martial arts. However, not so much when it comes to champions jumping on cards they weren’t scheduled for. Yet that is exactly what’s happening on Oct. 13 at One Championship “Century” as the promotion’s reigning lightweight champion Christian Lee will replace Eddie Alvarez in the lightweight grand prix finals to face wrecking machine Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev.

“Last week my dad [and coach, Ken Lee] gets a call, and they say, ‘Eddie Alvarez is injured. We need a replacement,’” Lee told Sherdog. “Basically, they went down the list of all the top contenders in the lightweight division and none of them could make it in time [from] visa issues, or they just weren’t eligible to step up to the finals. Because that’s a spot that has to be earned. So basically, I was a last resort on their list, and if I didn’t take it the fight would be scrapped from the card. As a company man, I don’t want to see that happen. Especially to such a great card. The biggest event in One Championship history. So, four hours later I accepted.”

In this exclusive, the 21-year-old rising star talked about competing on two weeks’ notice, and why it’s not a problem. Lee then spoke on the bout still being for the grand prix championship, even though this is his first bout in the tournament. Conversation then moved on to his matchup with “Dagi,” and why the Russian is his most dangerous opponent to date. “The Warrior” also talked about whom he could face in his first title defense. He then discussed his close relationship with his sister, and fellow One Championship titleholder, Angela Lee.


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