MMA, martial arts

Why Shinya Aoki called out his Evolve MMA teammate Christian Lee

Shinya Aoki, Christian Lee (© ONE Championship)

Shinya Aoki, Christian Lee (© ONE Championship)

Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki, 35, of Japan became the ONE Lightweight World Champion on April 5, 2013 but lost the title on November 11, 2016. But when he regained the belt on March 31, 2019, he called out his Christian “The Warrior” Lee, 20, of Singapore.

Both Aoki and Lee are training out of Evolve MMA in Singapore. The latter is also training out of United MMA in Hawaii, United States with his sister, reigning ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee, 22.

On May 17, 2019, Christian will challenge Aoki for the ONE Lightweight World Championship title in the main event of  “ONE: Enter the Dragon” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore. They had their official face-off during the press conference at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Center at the Bayfront Avenue in Singapore on May 14, 2019.

“I called out Christian because I think he is the best not only in Asia but in the world,” Aoki explained during the press conference. “He is a hungry young lion and very dangerous but right now is the best time to hunt the lion down. I’ve trained with him in the past and we know each other well.”

“He’s very strong, fast and explosive,” Aoki said of Christian. “Our styles match up quite well and I think this is going to be a good challenge for me.”

In the co-main event of “ONE: Enter the Dragon,” Nieky “The Natural” Holzken, 34, and Regian “The Immortal” Eersel, 25, will compete for the inaugural ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Championship. They are both fighting out of the Netherlands.

Including Singapore, Japan and the Netherlands, 19 countries will be represented at “ONE: Enter the Dragon.” The other countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, the Republic of Moldova, the Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and the U.S.

Here is a clip from the “ONE: Enter the Dragon” press conference:

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