Shinya Aoki stares down Christian Lee in Singapore

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Shinya Aoki defends his title against a surging Christian Lee.

One Championship is back on home turf this Friday with a lightweight title fight leading a 16-fight card that also includes the Lightweight Grand Prix and One’s Featherweight Kickboxing Grand Prix.

In the main event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium Shinya Aoki will make the first defense of his second reign as ONE Lightweight World Champion against Christian Lee.

Almost immediately after he recaptured the belt in March, Aoki was asked about the next opponent he wanted to face and, without hesitating, the Japanese icon requested a match against his friend and teammate from Evolve.

Aoki got his wish and he explained why he had called out his upcoming opponent on the stage when they met for the first time since the match-up was made official.

“I called out Christian because I think he is the best, not only in Asia, but in the world,” he said.

“He is a hungry young lion and very dangerous. But right now is the best time to hunt the lion down.”

Lee admitted that they were both friends and training partners, but inside the ONE cage it was all business.

“At the end of the day, it’s just going to be me and Shinya in the ring. There’s nothing weighing me down in this fight.

“We’re teammates and friends. But above all else, we’re true martial artists. When we step into that ring, there will be no emotions. It’s just a complete test of skill and will.

“I’ve grown a lot over the past year. I’ve taken everything I could learn from my experience and now I’m back, stronger than ever. I think everyone will see the improvements I’ve made to my game.”

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