22-year-old Christian Lee destroyed a title challenger in 73 seconds and cemented his spot as an MMA superstar in the making

Christian Lee, One Championship
Christian Lee. Photo by One Championship
  • Christian Lee scored a 73-second knockout win in a title fight broadcast Wednesday.
  • The fight itself took place April 7, but the results were kept secret for the benefit of US cable TV.
  • Victory propels Lee, a 22-year-old from Hawaii, closer to becoming a true superstar.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A 22-year-old fighter called Christian Lee just destroyed a title challenger in 73 seconds, cementing his place as one of the likely MMA superstars of the future.

The One Championship lightweight ruler retained the 77kg title after finishing the ranked contender Timofey Nastyukhin midway through the opening round of a card broadcast Wednesday on TNT.

The bout itself took place April 7 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, but the results were kept secret for the benefit of the tape-delayed event this week on US cable TV.

Lee shot for a double-leg takedown during the early stages of the contest, but Nastyukhin thwarted the youngster’s attempt to take the fight to the canvas by staying on his feet.

They then exchanged strikes with Nastyukhin targeting Lee’s leg with a kick that sent the champion’s limb in the opposite direction, before throwing a right hand over the top.

The challenger’s increased comfort level in the bout worked against him, though, as Lee cracked him with an expert check-hook that floored Nastyukhin.

Lee then pounced on his opponent and wailed shot after shot onto Nastyukhin – many of them right hands, and 14 of them unanswered – until the referee had seen enough. He intervened to hand the champ another win.

It was all over.

Watch the onslaught right here:

-ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) April 15, 2021

“Timofey likes to go in there and go for the knockout, so our game plan was based on that,” said Lee after his win was announced. “Speed and accuracy beats power – so that’s what happened tonight.”

Victory advanced Lee’s pro MMA record to 15 wins (10 knockouts, four submissions, and one decision) against three losses.

He remains the youngest champion in One history, and extended his record of most company wins (15) and most finishes (14).

By finishing Nastyukhin after beating Iuri Lapicus, Saygid “Dagi” Arslanaliev, and Shinya Aoki, Lee has defeated four of the top five competitors in One’s lightweight division.

The fighter remains on course to be One’s marquee champion, and should a mega-match involving the former UFC king Eddie Alvarez materialize, he could secure crossover appeal with another thumping win.

One boss Chatri Sityodtong is among those with extremely high hopes for Lee.

“I believe Christian Lee is already one of the pound-for-pound best,” Sityodtong recently told Insider. “He’s definitely the best lightweight world champion out there right now. He can smoke any lightweight in the world.”

Lee’s win wasn’t the only significant one on the night

One Championship One on TNT 2
Wang Shuo and Kim Kyu Sung. Photo by One Championship

Though all five of the fights that took place at the One on TNT 2 event finished with a stoppage, the match that resonated the most on the preliminary card was Wang Shuo’s third-round win over Kim Kyu Sung.

An elbow strike was the catalyst for the beginning of the end for Kim. Wang cracked the South Korean so hard and so accurately that he crumpled into a heap on the floor.

From there, the Chinese athlete hit him with five unanswered blows to secure the win.

Watch the bludgeoning right here:

-ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) April 15, 2021

With the victory, Wang – nicknamed ‘Little Whirlwind’ – advanced his pro MMA record to 12 wins (six knockouts, one submission, and five decisions) against four losses.

Elsewhere on the card, American women’s atomweight fighter Janet Todd defeated Norway’s Anne Line Hogstad with a kick to the body in the third round of a Muay Thai match.

One has another tape-delayed event Wednesday, April 21 – the third in a series of four events on TNT.