Ever since making his professional debut under the ONE Championship banner in December 2015, Christian Lee is nothing short but spectacular as his impressive skillset boasts unorthodox and unpredictable striking techniques, as well as technical grappling and creative submission maneuvers.
After nine matches inside the ONE Championship cage, “Warrior” Lee developed a reputation as a proven finisher, owning five knockout victories and three submission wins.
In his last outing, Lee tied the record for most finishes in the promotion’s history, pulling off a highlight-reel knockout of former ONE Lightweight World Champion Kotetsu Boku this past December.
Lee draws another Japanese icon in his next assignment as he squares off with with two-division former DEEP champion Kazunori Yokota on the undercard of ONE: VISIONS OF VICTORY, which takes place at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 9 March.
The 19-year-old Singaporean prospect hopes to secure his fourth straight win, all while also adding another big name to his ever-expanding résumé.
“I think Kazunori Yokota is a great match-up. He is a seasoned veteran, similar to Boku. I feel he is actually very similar to Boku,” Lee stated.
“He is not as threatening when you look at his record on paper, but he is fast, he is explosive, and I know when we get in there, he is going to be looking to take me out. I am not looking past him in any way, so I am going to go in there and take him out in the same fashion I did Boku,” he assessed of his opponent.
Lee admitted that taking the match with Yokota was a dangerous proposition, considering he feels that he is already close to a world title shot.
However, it is not how Lee wants to approach his career because he believes that through great risk comes an even greater reward.
“A lot of other athletes would not have even taken this bout,” he said. “I could have sat and waited, and the title shot could have been mine. But that is just not the type of person I am. I am not going to just sit and wait for something to come. When they offered me Kazunori Yokota, I took it in a heartbeat.”
According to Lee, each contest also allows him to gain even more experience inside the cage, which is something he values even more after suffering the first and only blemish of his career in a crushing defeat to current ONE Featherweight and Lightweight World Champion Martin Nguyen in August 2016.
“I feel the biggest thing that I took away from that loss, it was a mental thing,” he explained. “It was my sixth bout in, and I just turned 18 years old. I am only 19 years old now, but I feel years and years ahead, experience-wise, just coming off that loss.
“Just being able to step back and look at things from a different perspective, I really see in that bout I let emotions come into play. There is really no room for emotions in a contest. It is strictly business. Since then, I have been able to implement that into all of my bouts,” Lee added.
Although a decisive triumph could seal the deal for Lee as the next contender for the ONE Featherweight World Championship, he is keeping his eyes on getting his hand raised as maintaining his 100 percent finishing rate appears to be at the top of his list.
“You can show just how good you are when people know exactly what you are going to do, but they still cannot stop you from doing it. My thinking is if you want to be the best in the world, you are going to have to take out everyone anyway. So whoever they throw at you, you have to be prepared to face them and beat them,” he concluded.