Christian Lee Believes Saygid Izagakhmaev Brings 'Special Skill Set' To ONE's Lightweight Division
Lee has beaten them all except one, #5-ranked lightweight contender Saygid Izagakhmaev.
The Russian workhorse will have his chance to further his candidacy for a shot at “The Warrior” at ONE 161: Petchmorakot vs. Tawanchai when he meets China’s Zhang Lipeng.
However, Lee does not believe a win over the rising star will be enough for Izagakhmaev to claim a title shot.
“I think Saygid is going to win that fight. Lipeng, he’s a veteran of the sport, but I think Saygid brings a special skill set to the division. I think it’s going to take someone special to really stop his run, and I see him working his way up to a title shot real soon,” Lee told ONE.
“Saygid has fought once in ONE Championship (submitting James Nakashima). Even though he’s got a good record outside of ONE, this will be another fight against somebody outside of the rankings, and I feel like there’s a ranking for a reason. It really shows who’s the top five in the division.”
Although Lee believes in the ranking structure, he still feels that Izagakmaev is close to earning that shot for the gold. The 20-2 Dagestani could use this matchup at ONE 161 as a springboard to contendership and give Lee his next big challenge.
“So, I think that there’s a good chance that he’s going to win that fight, and then I’d like to see him fight anyone in the top five, which would definitely give him a shot at the title,” said Lee.
Izagakhmaev steps foot inside the Circle on Thursday, September 29, at ONE 161: Petchmorakot vs. Tawanchai. The event airs live and free on watch.onefc.com at 6:30 a.m. ET/3:30 a.m. PT.
Saygid Izagakhmaev's SMASHING ONE Debut 🇷🇺💥Khabib's protege and Russian superstar Saygid Izagakhmaev captured the world's attention with a show-stopping debut against American warrior James Nakashima ...
- ONE Championship: Lee vs Nastyukhin at ONE on TNT II - Black ... ›
- ONE: Heavy Hitters Recap - Black Belt Magazine ›
- Khabib Nurmagomedov's Protege Saygid Izagakhmaev debuts at ... ›
- Islam Makhachev Predicts Tough Challenges For ONE Double Champ Christian Lee - Black Belt Magazine ›