Eddie Alvarez vs. Christian Lee is a fight that has to happen in ONE Championship. Ever since Alvarez signed with the Singapore-based promotion in 2019, he's been asked about facing the young phenom. As the only fighter besides Cris Cyborg to win world titles in both the UFC and Bellator, Alvarez stands as one of the best lightweights of all-time.
Meanwhile, Christian Lee is one of the most exciting fighters from the new generation. Remarkably, 14 out of his 15 victories have come via stoppage. He's still just 23 years old. Despite plenty of back and forth between Alvarez and Lee, the timing has never been quite right. Alvarez's ONE debut didn't go according to plan, and he suffered a first-round KO against Timofey Nastyukin.
He was later expected to fight Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev in the lightweight Grand Prix final but pulled out due to injury. Christian Lee took his place and won the tournament. Christian Lee has now relinquished his lightweight title belt under controversial circumstances. Will the stars finally align for the fans to see Alvarez and Lee go toe to toe? Here are five reasons why it really is the fight to make.
#5. Alvarez & Lee are both coming off losses to Ok Rae Yoon
For a while, Christian Lee's rationale for putting off a fight with Alvarez made sense. Lee was the champion and he wanted to give the title shot to an individual he felt had 'earned it.' Having beaten everyone else in the top 5, Ok Rae Yoon was that man.
The Korean had previously looked fantastic against Alvarez and shown how dangerous he could be with his hands. Despite suffering a broken orbital early on in the fight against Christian Lee, Ok secured a surprise victory. Christian Lee disputed the result and it was taken to the ONE Championship competition committee. The decision was upheld. Naturally, Lee will want an opportunity to get his title back. But with Ok's injury - he won't be able to compete for at least six months.
Meanwhile, Alvarez has not fought since the loss to Ok at ONE on TNT 4 in April. He's made it clear that he came to ONE to win another world title. If he can bounce back with a win against Christian Lee, then he'll spring himself right back into contention for the belt. Alternatively, if Christian Lee beats Alvarez, it will be the biggest name on his resume so far. It would, in turn, reaffirm his status as top dog in the ONE lightweight division as he waits for the Ok rematch.