Gunning for his fourth successive win in just six months, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Christian Lee has his eyes set on the ONE Championship World Featherweight Championship. We speak to the knockout artist ahead of his upcoming bout in Singapore.
Your family is actively engaged in the martial arts scene, but how did you know you wanted to be an MMA fighter?
I knew I wanted to be an MMA fighter after my older sister, Angela, and I competed at our first Pankration World Championships in Sparta, Greece, where we both became World Champions. I was 14 at the time, but from that moment on I knew I wanted to be a professional fighter.
How similar and different is your fighting style compared to Angela?
My sister and I have both been trained under the same coach (our father) our whole lives so we move and think very similarly when we fight. However I would say my sister is just a more refined, technical version of me!
Who’s your inspiration in the MMA world, and has this person given you any advice?
My inspiration would definitely have to be Angela. I’m confident she will win the ONE Championship Women’s Atomweight World Champion next week! She has always been there to motivate me in training and in competition. The best advice Angela has ever given me is to always believe in myself and to never let anyone tell me otherwise.
Do you have any favorite fight moves?
I absolutely love knockouts! So whatever move gets the job done.
Is there any pre-fight ritual that must be performed prior to your fight?
No I don’t believe in pre-fight rituals, I just go in there and fight.
You’re going for your fourth professional fight in just six months. Was this intended by you, and why?
Yes, I had hoped to stay busy, but of course every fighter does, so I am extremely grateful that ONE Championship has kept me so active over the past few months.
What are your thoughts on ONE’s Featherweight division, where the title has changed the most hands so far? Are there any plans to eventually move up to Lightweight?
I feel that ONE’s Featherweight division is the most stacked division in the organization and that’s why the title keeps switching hands. The talent pool is deep and everyone in there is so hungry to win that belt. I definitely don’t plan on staying in the Featherweight division forever. However, I want to become the ONE Championship World Featherweight Champion before I think about moving up a weight class.
What are your thoughts on ONE Championship’s new policy on banning weight cuts?
I think that the new weight cutting policy allows fighters to focus purely on fighting without the stress and distraction of having to make weight. They have taken a huge step in ensuring the safety of the fighters, so I think it’s really great.
In light of Conor McGregor’s recent reluctance to spend too much time promoting his re-match against Nate Diaz to focus on his fight, what are your thoughts on fighters having to do promotions?
I feel that the reason why Conor McGregor got so popular in the short amount of time he’s been in the sport is directly related to the amount of work he’s put in to marketing himself. So I think that if fighters want to start making the kind of money he’s making then they should definitely start making time to promote their organization and their matches.
Besides training and fighting, what else do you like to do in your free time?
Apart from training and fighting, I love cooking and spending time with my family!
Angela and Christian Lee will be fighting for victory at ONE Championship: Ascent to Power. Look out for our ticket giveaway coming soon!