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Reigning ONE lightweight champ Lee sees Folayang a great challenge

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HOLDER of the lightweight title in ONE Championship for over a year now, Singapore’s Christian “The Warrior” Lee said a lot is still in store for him as champion and that he is ready to take on all-comers, including former champ Eduard “Landslide” Folayang.

Ascended to the lightweight throne in May last year after beating erstwhile champion and Japanese legend Shinya Aoki, Mr. Lee, 22, last saw action in October where he ably stepped in as replacement in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Championship and defeated Russian Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev, but he is raring to it get going anew and prove his mettle as the best in his class.

“I will defend my belt against anyone, anytime. The lightweight division is the most stacked division in ONE Championship,” said Lee (13-3), about his plans to defend his title.

A solid list of contenders is out to get the lightweight belt from him, including mixed martial arts veteran Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez, and undefeated and current number one contender Moldovan Iuri Lapicus.

Also in the running is Mr. Arslanaliev.

While said fighters would be solid opponents to him, an opportunity to share the ONE Circle with Filipino veteran Folayang is a challenge Mr. Lee would not mind taking on.

“I would love to share the ONE Circle with Eduard Folayang. I have a lot of respect for all that he’s accomplished in his career, and I think that we could put on a great show for the fans,” said Mr. Lee, younger brother of ONE women’s atomweight champion Angela.

“Eduard is a very good striker, and is now rounding out his wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu. However, I feel that his main strengths are his heart and his killer instinct. He’s the two-time former ONE Lightweight World Champion, so he doesn’t have many weaknesses. I think he’s a great fighter,” he added of Folayang (22-9), who is out to get back on the winning track after bowing to replacement opponent Pieter Buist of the Netherlands by split decision in January.

Apart from defending his title, Mr. Lee is also gunning to become a two-division champion, angling to snatch the featherweight world title from Australia’s Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen.

Because of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, ONE Championship has seen itself have a limited run so far this year but is poised to make a return later this month with a live event in Bangkok, Thailand. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo

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