© Provided by SMGWhile older sister Angela Lee was already a ONE Championship star, younger brother was sharpening his own skills with championship ambitions of his own, and now the 22-year-old has two belts to his name. Lee (12-3) made his professional MMA debut in ONE and has competed under the bright lights ever since. After going 9-1 with the promotion with a 100 percent finish rate in his victories, he earned a featherweight title shot against the only man to defeat him at that point, Martin Nguyen. He lost via split decision, but despite his defeat he showed that he belonged at the very highest level. A disqualification loss to Edward Kelly for an illegal suplex then put him on the first losing skid of his career, but he hasn't lost since. A pair of first-round TKO victories, including a finish of Kelly in their rematch, earned him a shot at lightweight champion Shinya Aoki, and he finished the Japanese legend early in the second round to capture the title. He then stepped in as a substitute to defeat the highly-touted Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev in the final of the ONE lightweight grand prix to claim the first decision win of his career and capture the tournament title. Now he'll take on the dangerous (14-0) in Singapore looking to register his first title defense and cement his place at the top of ONE's lightweight division.
Christian Lee doesn't want to make his wife worry, so he'll gun for a finish at ONE on TNT 2.
Lee (14-3), the ONE welterweight champion, expects April to be a busy month for his family. Though the event won't be broadcast until April 14, Lee takes on Timofey Nastyukhin (14-4) on April 8. That's less than three weeks prior to his wife Katie's due date to give birth to the couple's first child.
"I think it's best just to have a healthy balance between the two," recently told MMA Junkie Radio about handling both family life and work. "I haven't missed any one of my wife's pregnancy checkouts so far, and I don't plan on it. I am going to be flying out pretty far along in the pregnancy. She's going to be about 37 weeks.
"(After the fight,) I'm on the first flight back home. For me, I'm absolutely 100 percent focused on my fight, but I'm just praying to God that I get back in time before my baby is born because I definitely wouldn't want to miss that for the world."
A fierce competitor, Lee has been a motivated husband but is ready to add more fuel to the fire. When he becomes a father, he says he'll have even more to fight for.
"It's just more motivation for me," Lee said. "I love the pressure. I love having more at stake. It just helps me work harder. With my wife being pregnant, at the time, it's just even more reason to push for an early finish because I don't want her to stress out watching me fight."
The task at hand is tall. Lee's April 8 opponent, Nastyukhin, holds wins over former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and ONE Championship standout Amir Khan. Even with the business of his personal life at the moment, Lee says he is still focused on his opponent and the challenges Nastyukhin presents.
"Timofey is a dangerous fighter," Lee said. "One thing I respect about him is that he's a really true fighter at heart. He's always going for the finish, no matter what. He's taken a few losses. He's got knocked out by 'Dagi' (Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev). He's got submitted a few times in his career, as well, but he's always ready to fight. He likes to come out of the gates like it's a street fight. That makes him dangerous."
ONE on TNT 2 airs April 14 and takes place at Singapore Indoor Stadium.
To hear the full interview with Lee, check out the video below.
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