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Christian Lee: Everything you need to know about the ONE Championship MMA star

LockerRoom Team
16 April 2021

Christian Lee was born in Vancouver to a Chinese-Singaporean father and a Korean mother. Both his parents are black belts in various disciplines. They started training their children in various techniques from a very early age itself. Lee’s older sister Angela Lee is an international star and is also ONE Women’s Atomweight champion.

He trains out of United MMA in Waipahu, Hawaii, and Evolve MMA in Singapore, and holds black belts in Total Defense System and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

It was in 2012 that his combat sports career really took off. In 2012, Lee participated in the USA Pankration National Championships and won two National titles and one silver medal. In the same year, he participated in the 2012 World Pangration Athlima Federation Championships and won the World Championship in the MMA division. His amateur debut happened at Star Elite Cage Fighting in 2015, he was able to secure a first-round submission against his opponent Avery Sanchis.

Debut in ONE Championship

After an impressive amateur debut, Lee made his debut in ONE Championship at the age of 17. He debuted at ONE Championship: Spirit of Champions on 11th December 2015, and won the bout with a 29 second TKO against David Meak. Lee in his next bout was able to secure a first-round submission against Mahmoud Deab Mohamed with a kimura at ONE Championship: Clash of heroes. Lee was able to continue his streak against Anthony Engelen, Cary Bullos, and Rocky Batolbatol at ONE Championship: Union of the Warriors, ONE Championship: Ascent To Power and ONE Championship: Kingdom of Champions respectively.

He suffered his first professional defeat to Martin Nguyen at ONE Championship: Heroes of the World. He lost the bout in the first round via a guillotine choke.

Lee came back to his winning ways by defeating Wan Jianping with a first-round TKO at ONE Championship: Kings of Destiny. Lee faced Keanu Subba in his next fight at ONE Championship: Quest for Greatness. For the first time in his career, Lee was pushed to three rounds in this match. Lee submitted Keanu Subba with an armbar in the third round. Lee followed this up with wins against former ONE Lightweight World Champion Kotetsu Boku and against Kazunori Yokota at ONE Championship: Warriors of the World and ONE Championship: Visions of Victory respectively.

He once again faced Martin Nguyen for the ONE Featherweight World Champion title at ONE Championship: Unstoppable Dreams. Lee was hoping to get even with Martin Nguyen but unfortunately, after a five-round back-and-forth battle, Lee lost the bout by a narrow split-decision.

Lee was disqualified in his next bout due to an illegal duplex against Edward Kelly at ONE Championship: Beyond the Horizon. Lee was judged to have used an illegal belly-to-back suplex which caused Kelly to land on his head and neck. He was able to secure a win against Edward Kelly when they met again in their anticipated rematch at ONE Championship: Eternal Glory with a first-round TKO which would take his overall record to 14-3.

Mixed Martial Arts World Title in ONE Championship

On May 17th, 2019 at ONE Championship: Enter The Dragon, Lee faced Aoki the Lightweight Champion as a result of an open challenge issued by the Champion. Lee secured a second-round upset via TKO to win his first Mixed Martial Arts World Title. This made him the youngest ever male Mixed Martial Arts World Champion and also the first-ever brother-sister pair of world champions in the history of mixed martial arts along with his sister Angela Lee - ONE Women’s Atomweight Champion.

Lee has been successful in defending his title till now. He defended his title against Luri Lapicus at ONE Championship: Inside the Matrix and won by first-round TKO via punches on the ground. The Lightweight title was again on the line as Lee faced Timofey Nastyukhin at ONE on TNT 2 0n 14th April 2021. The fight finished just over a minute into the first round with Lee securing the win with a TKO and thus retaining his Lightweight Championship Title.

At just 22 years old, Lee currently holds the record for most wins (15) and most finishes (14) in ONE Championship history and the future looks bright for him.

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