Christian Lee Says Thanh Le Has to Clean Out His Division Before Asking for Superfights

Jul 16, 2021

“The Warrior” believes his fellow champion hasn’t done enough for a title shot at lightweight.

One Championship lightweight titleholder Christian Lee (15-3, 15-3 One) is one of those fighters who best incarnate the concept that MMA athletes are not paid by the minute. With just one decision on his record, the 23-year old champion stopped Timofey Nastyukhin with punches in the opening stanza to score his latest title defense. With that victory under the belt, “The Warrior” has essentially cleaned out his division as he has wins over ranked opponents Nastyukhin, Iuri Lapicus, Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev and Shinya Aoki. One of the contender who still has to meet the reigning champion is Rae Yoon Ok. While Lee has been challenged by One featherweight champion Thanh Le for a superfight, the 23-year old believes that Ok is the most-worthy contender for a crack at his title at the moment.

“I think that would be a great fight,” he told Sherdog. “I think Thanh did a great job in winning the featherweight belt over Martin Nguyen with a nice knockout. Right now, he just won the belt. He hasn’t defended it once. I’d like to see him taking out all top-contenders in the featherweight division before he’s ready to jump up to lightweight and challenge me for [my belt]. I said it in previous interviews before, featherweight... it's just that my body has grown out of that division. I’m not looking to kill myself to make a weight that doesn’t suit me anymore. Definitely, once he earns his way there and cements himself as featherweight king, then maybe we can look into that. For now, I’ve done my job and knocked out the contenders in the lightweight division, so, on the other hand, I’m looking to go up to welterweight and to challenge for that belt. That’s the superfight I’d be looking towards, but for now, in terms of the lightweight division, I see only one guy and other than that, I’m looking to go up to welterweight and challenge the champ for his.”

Tudor Leonte started writing about mixed martial arts in 2013 for Italian media outlets. His journey with Sherdog begun in 2018 and now he covers One Championship and countless European shows. You can follow him on Twitter @MrTudorLeonte.

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