ONE Championship titleholder Christian Lee has declared himself the best lightweight fighter “in the entire world” ahead of his fight against Timofey Nastyukhin in April.

The 22-year-old impressively dethroned MMA legend Shinya Aoki in 2019.

Lee has since gone on to defend the ONE Championship strap on two occasions. The first came against Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev and saw Lee crowned the Grand Prix winner.

Next up, the youngster made a statement by knocking out Iuri Lapicus inside one round in October 2020.

ONE Championship’s lightweight division is at the 170lb weight limit, usually referred to as welterweight by the rest of the world.

In an interview with Asian MMA, Lee was adamant about his ability to compete with and beat any other lightweight fighter in MMA, he said.

“I don’t want to come off as cocky, but I do feel that I’m the best lightweight fighter in the entire world. And that doesn’t mean just ONE Championship, that means every organization.”

ONE Championship have just inked a deal with TNT that will allow their fighters to get more exposure in the United States, something Lee is very excited about.

“I think it’s great. I’m really excited that ONE has signed a deal with TNT. It’s great to see that ONE is finally breaking its way into the U.S. market, and I can tell my friends and family here in Hawaii to just turn on TNT and watch it in prime time.”

On the night Lee is expecting a tough fight with Nastyukhin who he has been impressed by.

“The thing about this fight that’s exciting for me is that Timofey is, in my opinion, one of the most dangerous athletes in the lightweight division and he’s taken out some of the best names in ONE so far. He’s definitely deserving of this title shot.”

The ONE Championship titleholder is also looking forward to an exciting fight due to the pairs respective fighting styles.

“Just the way our styles line up, he’s a finisher, I’m a finisher, and it’s going to make for a great, exciting fight for the fans,” Lee said.

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A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.