Lee reclaimed his lightweight title with a show-stopping knockout over Ok Rae Yoon at ONE 160 in August. The United MMA star expected to take a little time off after the bout, but when the contract presented itself against Abbasov, he quickly signed on the dotted line.
"An opportunity like this is really just too big of a moment to let it just pass me by. And fighting for a second world title and a second weight division has always been a dream of mine since I started this sport. When I was talking to Chatri, and he threw that name up in the air, it was not something I was going to pass by," said Lee.
The matchup will serve as an intriguing challenge for the lightweight titleholder. Abbasov poses significant threats on the feet and on the ground. He has also shown the ability to compete into the championship rounds without losing a step, meaning Lee will need to come into the Circle in peak condition.
"The Warrior" understands the difficult challenge ahead, but he is not concerned about the size difference between lightweight and welterweight. The 24-year-old believes in his skillset. By getting into the best shape he can be in ahead of the match, Lee is sure his skills will allow him to perform up to his family's championship standard.
"I'm not focused on my size. I'm not focused on how big or small I'm going to be in that division. I'm just going to go in there in the best shape possible and take a shot at the title," said "The Warrior."
"Going into this fight, I feel that my cardio is better than it's ever been. I truly feel like I'm in the best shape that I've been in so far. I think it's easy to make the mistake when you're moving up a weight division, to just simply put on the size, to put on the extra weight, and then to neglect the cardio. Because now, you don't need to do the same amount of cardio that you had to do to cut your division to your natural division. By going into this fight, I took some time to put on extra weight so that when I did step up the training and when I did start doing my cardio, I would be able to be in the same shape I was fighting for the lightweight title as I'm going to be for the welterweight title."
Lee is sure this is the right time to take on this challenge. As both the lightweight and welterweight divisions are in flux with challengers working their way up to the top, the two champions have this small window to meet for a massive showdown. To headline a Prime Video card is just the cherry on top for the lightweight king.
Although Lee has predicted a third-round submission to become a double champion, he wants fans to expect an exciting war between two of the best mixed martial artists on the planet. With a line of finishes between the two, the Hawaii resident is sure the main event of ONE on Prime Video 4 will deliver another memorable night for fans.
"It's a big opportunity for me. I'm excited to be headlining my first event on Amazon Prime. I think they chose a good fight to headline this card. Because Abbasov is an extremely talented fighter, I know that when he goes out there, he's always looking to finish his fights. And when I go there, I'm looking to finish my fights. So regardless of the outcome, I know it's going to be an exciting fight for the fans. And at the end of the day, this is the fight business. Our goal is to put on exciting fights for the fans, and I don't think that this one is going to disappoint," said Lee.
ONE on Prime Video 4: Abbasov vs. Lee airs live and free on Friday, November 18, at 8 p.m. ET/5 a.m. PT. Tickets for the event are on sale now at Ticketmaster.