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Christian Lee targets quickfire finish against Shinya Aoki at ONE: Enter The Dragon

Featherweight contender Christian ‘The Warrior’ Lee is stepping up to lightweight to challenge ONE world champion Shinya Aoki – and he says he plans on getting the job done quickly

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ONE Championship

Christian Lee says he has the ability to not only dethrone ONE lightweight world champion Shinya Aoki, but finish the Japanese MMA icon in quickfire fashion.

Lee – younger brother of ONE women’s atomweight champion ‘Unstoppable’ Angela Lee – is set to move up from his usual home of featherweight to challenge Aoki for his ONE lightweight title in the main event of ONE: Enter The Dragon this weekend.

And the 20-year-old, who splits his training between his home gym and Singapore’s Evolve MMA, says he has the skillset to finish the seasoned veteran Aoki early on in their clash at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, May 17.

Speaking to reporters at the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore ahead of this Friday’s event, Lee said the aggressive approaches of both himself and the defending champion mean a quick finish could be on the cards.

Young challenger: Christian Lee (Pic: ONE Championship)

Young challenger: Christian Lee (Pic: ONE Championship)

“The way that Aoki fights, he tries to finish his opponents as quickly as possible. That’s why his last four fights have ended in the first round” he explained.

“And that’s the exact same way that I fight. There is no animosity or any bad blood. We will bring out the best in each other.

“For this fight, I’m planning on finishing Aoki wherever the match goes. If he stands with me, I’m going to strike. If he goes down to the ground, I will grapple him.”

Lee got his title shot in part because world champion Aoki called for it after reclaiming the belt from Filipino star Eduard Folayang at ONE: A New Era in Tokyo on March 31.

The Japanese world champion explained: “I called out Christian because I think he is the best, not only in Asia, but in the world.

“He is a hungry young lion and very dangerous. But right now is the best time to hunt the lion down.

“I’ve trained with him in the past and we know each other well. He’s very strong, fast, and explosive. Our styles match up quite well and I think this is going to be a good challenge for me.”

Defending champ: Shinya Aoki (Pic: ONE Championship)

Defending champ: Shinya Aoki (Pic: ONE Championship)

And even though the pair are occasional teammates at Singapore gym Evolve MMA, Lee says there will be no uneasiness or hesitation from either man when they meet in Friday’s main event.

“At the end of the day, it’s just going to be me and Shinya in the ring,” he stated.

“There’s nothing weighing me down in this fight. We’re teammates and friends. But above all else, we’re true martial artists.

“When we step into that ring, there will be no emotions. It’s just a complete test of skill and will. We’ll see who the better fighter is.”

Freelance sports writer and MMA reporter with 20 years’ experience in the UK's national media covering major sporting events including UFC world title fights, Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championships, Grand National and the FA Cup Final.

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