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ONE – CENTURY 世紀: Christian Lee enters lightweight tournament final, steps in for Eddie Alvarez

Asian MMA promotion ONE Championship confirmed on Sept. 26 that former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez is injured and will be replaced by Christian Lee (12-3-0) for the lightweight tournament at Tokyo’s ONE: CENTURY 世紀 event.

“I know Eddie is a true warrior and would have loved to compete under any circumstance, but training injuries are part of the game,” ONE CEO and chairman Chatri Sityodtong said in a press release. “I wish Eddie a complete recovery, and I know he will be back better than ever. ONE Superstar Eduard Folayang had agreed to step up on short notice, but visa issues made it impossible. Luckily, ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian Lee has agreed to step into the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Championship Final to face Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev. This bout promises non-stop action for all the fans in Tokyo and around the world!”

“I received the call that Eddie Alvarez was injured and they needed a last minute replacement to fight Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev,” Lee added. “Today, the fight is booked and I will be stepping into the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Championship Final. My ONE Lightweight World Title will not be on the line. However, we will be fighting for the Grand Prix title. I believe a true champion should be ready to fight anyone at any time. I am more than happy to share this card alongside my sister (Angela Lee), the champion! You do not want to miss this event.”

Lee made history at ONE: Enter the Dragon, knocking out Shinya Aoki to win the belt at 21 years old. His sister Angela (9-2-0) holds the women’s atomweight title and is on the card defending against strawweight champion Jingnan Xiong (14-1-0) in a rematch.

“The Warrior” is known for his exciting striking style and is on a three fight win streak.

Meanwhile, Arslanaliev (8-1-0), 24, made the tournament final by defeating Ev Ting, and Amir Khan. “Dagi” has a 100 per cent finish rate (as does Lee) and is currently enjoying a four-fight win streak.

ONE: CENTURY 世紀 is scheduled for Oct. 13 at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.

The double card features 28 world champions and seven world title fights.


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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