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Mixed Martial Arts

Christian Lee out to make statement in first world title defense

ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian “The Warrior” Lee knows that all eyes will be on him when he defends his strap for the first time against top contender Iuri Lapicus.

That doesn’t bother him at all, though.

In fact, Lee plans to put on a show to remember when he steps into the ring for the first time in nearly a year at ONE: Inside the Matrix on October 30 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

“It’s going to be huge. It’s definitely going to be the most-watched ONE Championship event of the year so far. I’m very excited and honored to be a part of such a big event. I’m so grateful to be back in action,” Lee told

“I embrace the pressure. The pressure is part of what makes this sport so interesting, and it’s part of being a World Champion. It’s going to be nothing new for me. I’m just excited to make a statement in my first title defense. There’s going to be pressure, but it’s going to be good pressure.”

For Lee, there’s no better opponent to defend his World Title than against the unbeaten Moldovan.

Lapicus comes in with an unblemished 14-0 record. He took The Home Of Martial Arts by storm with two submissions wins over Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai and former ONE Featherweight World Champion Marat “Cobra” Gafurov.

“The Warrior” believes Lapicus’ style fits his perfectly, and that’s exactly why he expects this match to steal the show next Friday night.

“With Iuri Lapicus, I was really excited to hear that he was going to be my first fight back. He’s done well in his career to earn that #1-contender spot. I give all the credit to him, and I think he’s definitely a worthy opponent,” Lee said.

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“This is his first title shot and a big opportunity. When he steps into the Circle with me, he’s going to come out guns blazing, trying to take my head off. I do feel like that if it does go into the later rounds, I will have the edge over him,” he continued.

“But just the way our styles match up, I feel like it’s going to be an early clash, and we’re going to see who’s got the better of each other.”

Just don’t expect the World Title clash to last long.

“We’re going to meet in the center of the cage, and my experience is going to come into play,” Lee said.

“I’m going to get a first-round TKO finish.”

Watch ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX next Friday, October 30, live on One Sports+ or the ONE Super App at 8:30 p.m. Philippine Standard Time (PHT). One Sports will air the event on a same-day delay at 9 p.m. PHT.

Additionally, TV5 will air the event on a next-day delay at 11 p.m. PHT on Saturday, October 31.

Read More From ONE Championship:

The Top 5 Submissions From Stars Of ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX

Martin Nguyen Driven To Cement Legacy, Inspire Next Generation

Thanh Le Promises Fireworks Vs. Nguyen: ‘Somebody’s Going To Sleep’

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