What's next for Christian Lee after ONE 160?

Christian Lee
Christian Lee celebrates with his family following his world title win over Ok Rae Yoon. [Photo ONE Championship]

The legend of Christian Lee continues to grow.

Lee set out to regain the gold, and he did just that when he battered Ok Rae Yoon and once again became the ONE lightweight world champion at ONE 160 last Friday, Singapore time, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Unwilling to leave the result to the judges, Lee went on a destructive warpath in what could go down as the most one-sided world title fight in ONE Championship history.

Lee was aggression personified as he quickly imposed his will on Ok from the get-go, who obviously saw better days in his career.

In a masterful display of striking, Lee tagged Ok with several knees that prompted the referee to stop the contest 1:00 into the second round.

With such a dominant performance, and an almost perfect start to his second reign, what could be next for Christian Lee after ONE 160?

The 24-year-old has already beaten the majority of the lightweight elite, save for one man.

Dagi Arslanaliev, Timofey Nastyukhin, and the legend Shinya Aoki—all of whom are in the top five of the lightweight rankings—have all fallen to Lee in spectacular fashion.

However, a new crop of contenders are on the rise.

The only man in the top five of the division who has yet to face Lee inside the Circle is Russian wrestling machine and Khabib Nurmagomedov protege, Saygid Izagakhmaev.

The no.5-ranked lightweight contender arrived in ONE Championship at ONE: Heavy Hitters this past January and promptly dominated former ONE world title challenger James Nakashima.

Izagakhmaev is one of the most dangerous grapplers in the world and his performance against Nakashima showed just that. The Academy MMA fighter rag-dolled the former welterweight world title challenger in a display of complete domination.

Lee, who’s already made his case for being the greatest lightweight in ONE Championship of all time, could very well face a different puzzle in the form of Izagakhmaev.

A product of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s tutelage, Izagakhmaev needed just one fight to show ONE fans his brilliance. If Izagakhmaev wins his next assignment against Zhang Lipeng at ONE 161, then he could very well be next for Christian Lee.

Christian Lee corrects his mistakes from his first match against Ok

While the first fight produced a controversial decision and not the result he wanted, Christian Lee knew that he made mistakes against Ok. This time, however, Lee made sure that he righted those wrongs and put on the performance of a lifetime.

In his post-fight interview with Mitch Chilson, Lee said he didn’t have the right mindset when he first faced Ok in 2021. This time, though, ‘The Warrior’ calmed himself down and took a more focused approach to the match.

“The biggest mistake I made in the previous fight is when I got into the Circle, I just wanted to fight. And so I calmed it down a little bit. We laid out a game plan, I stuck to it, I just tried my best to take my shots. Take what was there, not rush anything. And the finish happened on its own."

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Edited by Micah Curtis
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