Christian Lee vs. Eddie Alvarez: 3 Reasons Chatri Sityodtong Should Make The Fight Now

Published 10/04/2021, 11:38 AM EDT


The ONE lightweight division underwent a major shift over the weekend after Christian Lee’s shocking defeat to Ok Rae Yoon in the main event of ONE: REVOLUTION on Friday, 24 September.

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Following the loss, the 23-year-old Lee insisted that he was unjustly declared the loser of the bout by the judges and deserves an immediate rematch. But with four other ranked contenders itching for their shot at gold, the situation may not be so simple.

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If Lee is made to wait for a rematch, then there could be an interesting candidate whom he should test himself against. In fact, this could be the perfect time for Lee to face former UFC champion Eddie Alvarez in the Circle.

Alvarez has long been eyeing the division’s top prize ever since he joined ONE Championship in 2018. But after a string of setbacks, a victory against Lee could significantly turn things around for the former Bellator and UFC lightweight king.

Here are three reasons why ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong should make this fight happen now.

#1 The Best Way for Eddie Alvarez to Earn a World Title Shot

Alvarez’s desire to complete the missing piece in his haul of world titles led him to ONE Championship. However, since his arrival, he’s endured a difficult time with the organization.

The Philadelphia-native has only managed one win in four outings. In his last fight, the 37-year-old went down to Ok Rae Yoon via unanimous decision. Three weeks prior, he was disqualified in his match against Moldovan Iuri Lapicus, a result which was later overturned into a no contest.

Those losses have not discouraged Alvarez on his quest to prove why he should still be considered as one of the most dangerous athletes in the division.

There’s no better way for Alvarez to secure that long-desired title shot than with a victory against the former lightweight titleholder in Lee. It could prove to be the quickest path to the top, winning once over Lee as opposed to stringing together a few wins over the other top contenders.

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#2 Now is the Perfect Time

Eddie Alvarez and Christian Lee have been engaged in a heated war of words during Lee’s time as the lightweight division’s top dog. Now that the stars seem to be aligned, a match in the Circle could settle the beef between the two knockout artists.

In an interview dated back to October 2019, Lee stated that he would have loved to defend his ONE Lightweight World Title against Alvarez in New York’s Madison Square Garden. During that period, Alvarez shared in a couple of interviews that he would be very keen to challenge the Singaporean-American.

Their rivalry on social media continued with another twist in May this year, as Alvarez tweeted that the young champion was well protected in ONE Championship. He ended the tweet by saying “I’d finish [Lee] whenever I wanted.”

In response, Lee offered his opinion on the situation to various media outlets, saying that Alvarez did not deserve a title shot because of his losing streak and that he would need to do better than that to earn his shot.

Recently, Lee expressed his frustrations at Alvarez not even being able to win a single bout in the last two years.

The best way for the two to conclude this back-and-forth tirade would be a three-round war in the Circle. Now is the perfect time.

#3 Both Athletes Want Another Shot at Ok Rae Yoon

Both world-class stars have something in common: they want to prove that they did not deserve their loss to the new ONE Lightweight World Champion Ok Rae Yoon.

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Lee was furious following his defeat to Ok, describing the judges’ decision as unfair. Similarly, Alvarez maintains that he did enough to defeat Ok in April this year on the ONE on TNT IV card.

A win for either man should earn a shot at redemption against the South Korean Champ. Both men want another crack at Ok Rae Yoon, and fighting for the chance is the best way to get it.

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Will a hypothetical matchup with Ok end in a similar fashion for Alvarez and Lee? Or will they finally have the bragging rights against the division’s new kingpin? The only way to find out is to book Alvarez and Lee, with the winner in line to rematch Ok Rae Yoon and gold at stake.

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Arman Khan

168 articles

Arman Khan is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He began following combat sports when Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor competed in 'The Money Fight' in 2017. 'The Notorious' attracted Arman to the UFC and he became an ardent fan of professional fighting as he could draw parallels with the action from his combat sports experience and break down techniques such as striking and striking defense lucidly for the casual fans.

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