Christian Lee once again hears the rapping at his door.
The 22-year-old wunderkind will defend his One Championship lightweight title against Timofey Nastyukhin in the One on TNT 2 main event this Wednesday at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore. Lee enters the cage with the wind of a five-fight winning streak in his sails. He last appeared at One Championship “Inside the Matrix” on Oct. 30, when he brought down the previously unbeaten Iuri Lapicus with first-round punches. Lee has spent his entire 17-fight career in One Championship, emerging as one of the Singapore-based organization’s first true homegrown stars.
As Lee approaches his all-important confrontation with Nastyukhin, here are five things you might not know about him:
1. His roots can be found in the Great White North.
While other countries can claim him as a favorite son, Lee was actually born in Vancouver, British Columbia. He now trains out of Evolve MMA in Singapore and United MMA in Hawaii.
2. He poses a threat in all phases.
Lightning-quick hands and knockout power generated much of the initial mainstream buzz around Lee, a taekwondo black belt who debuted with One Championship as a 17-year-old in 2015 and punched out David Meak in just 29 seconds. However, he has other world-class skills at his disposal. Lee also holds the rank of black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Mike Fowler and owns four career wins by submission. He dismissed Mahmoud Deab Mohamed with a kimura at One Championship “Clash of Heroes” on Jan. 29, 2016, tapped Cary Bullos with a brabo choke at One Championship “Ascent to Power” on May 6, 2016, dispatched Keanu Subba with an armbar at One Championship “Quest for Greatness” on Aug. 18, 2017 and turned away Kazunori Yokota with a guillotine choke at One Championship “Visions of Victory” on March 9, 2018.
3. Fighting runs in his blood.
Lee’s mother and father are accomplished martial artists with black belts in various disciplines. Meanwhile, his older sister, Angela Lee, currently holds the One Championship atomweight title, and his younger sister, Victoria Lee, made her professional MMA debut at the age of 16 in February, submitting Sunisa Srisan with a second-round rear-naked choke at One Championship “Fists of Fury.”
4. He has developed a reputation as a fast starter.
Lee has 10 first-round finishes to his credit. Five of those 10 victories have taken place inside the first half of the Round 1.
5. His path to the top was wrought with difficulty.
The five men Lee has defeated during his current winning streak—Lapicus, Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev, Shinya Aoki, Edward Kelly and Kazuki Tokudome—own a combined record of 101-31-1.