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Christian Lee chasing revenge – and a world title – against Martin Nguyen

Singapore star says he’s ready to defeat the only man to beat him and win the ONE Featherweight Title

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Christian Lee is seeking a remarkable win-treble on Friday, 18 May when he takes on ONE Featherweight and Lightweight World Champion Martin Nguyen at ONE: UNSTOPPABLE DREAMS in Singapore.

Lee is not only challenging for Nguyen’s ONE Featherweight World Title, he’s also seeking redemption and revenge over the only man to ever defeat him. And, to top it all off, he’ll be looking to secure a memorable win on home soil at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Lee’s loss to Nguyen came back in 2016, when the Australian dropped the teenager with a big left hook before locking up a bout-ending guillotine choke.

“The first fight was two years ago. I was a much different fighter then,” said Lee.

“I rushed the finish. I went in there thinking all offense, and zero defense. To Martin’s credit, he is fast, he is explosive, and he has good instincts. As soon as he dropped me, he saw the opportunity, he grabbed my neck, and he finished me.

“Props to him, but I know that was not the best Christian Lee I could have possibly been that night. I know that two years later, I am a completely different fighter.”

Since that defeat Lee’s development has continued at a rapid rate since that matchup, and while Nguyen has gone on to win two world titles, Lee has also climbed the ranks, gaining valuable experience and claiming a number of notable scalps along the way.

Lee now heads into the rematch riding a four-bout win streak, with wins over Wan Jian Ping, Keanu Subba, Kotetsu Boku and Kazunori Yokota.

And the prodigious talent from Evolve MMA says he’s a totally different proposition now.

“I feel everything happens for a reason. It played out how it was supposed to play out,” he stated.

“Four fights later, I feel that I am much more prepared to be a world champion than I was two years ago. Of course, nobody ever wants to lose, but it happened, and I just learned from it. I used that to make me strive to be better every single day in my training.”

Lee will be sharing the card with his world champion sister, Angela Lee, who will be in action in the night’s main event when she returns to defend her ONE Atomweight Title in her own rematch, against Mei Yamaguchi.

The siblings have been training together at United MMA in Hawaii as part of a six-week camp before travelling to their second home of Singapore to finish their training at their Asian home gym at Evolve MMA for the final three weeks of camp.

And Lee says he’s ready to claim the 10th win of his career, defeat the only man to beat him and walk away with a world title.

“I know Martin’s game. I have studied his tape, and I have felt him in there,” Lee said.

“As much as Martin watches my recent fights, he does not know what I have to offer now, and it is going to be too late when he finds out on fight night.

“I can go five rounds, I can go 10 rounds. It does not matter. I have been training my butt off for this. Cardio will not be a factor, but I do not see this fight going to the scorecards.

“For me, winning a decision is not enough. Of course, at the end of the day, I will always take a win over a loss, but I am going out there to finish this guy.”

Interview by ONE Championship. Story by Simon Head.

Freelance sports writer and MMA reporter with 19 years’ experience in the UK's national media covering major sporting events including the FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championships, Olympic Games, UFC world title fights, The Grand National and The FA Cup Final.

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