Eddie Alvarez has dismissed Christian Lee who has claimed he is the best lightweight fighter in MMA.
The 22-year-old won the ONE Championship lightweight belt when he beat Shinya Aoki in 2019.
Lee has since gone on to defend the strap twice and also won the ONE Championship Lightweight Grand Prix.
In recent weeks the youngster has been bold during his conversations with the media, declaring himself the best lightweight fighter in MMA.
“I don’t want to come off as cocky, but I do feel that I’m the best lightweight fighter in the entire world,” Lee told Asian MMA. “And that doesn’t mean just ONE Championship, that means every organization.”
Alvarez is a man who has won major titles in Bellator and the UFC.
‘The Underground King’ has shared the cage with the majority of the world’s best lightweight.
So who better to ask about Christian Lee and his place among the best lightweight fighters in MMA.
“I think he’s well-rounded. He’s good, but no. The best in the whole world? No, he’s not,” Alvarez told LowKickMMA. “He’s not even the best in ONE Championship. If they just let me fight him. He’ll understand that and so will the promotion.”
Alvarez believes he is just one fight away from earning a shot at ONE Championship gold.
The 37-year-old is set to face Iluri Lapicus on April 7 and expects winning this fight will be enough to cement his shot.
“I think that’s it (after I beat Lapicus). I beat the former champion, two-time champion Eduard Folayang. Iluri Lapicus, he’s number two. I believe he is ranked number two and then that’s it. I feel like that’s it,” Alvarez said. “I don’t feel the need to prove myself. I’ve beaten so many champions throughout my career. I don’t’ know what we are waiting on. I don’t know what I have to prove more. I can beat the best guys in the world. Put me in front of your champion and I’ll beat him.”
A few weeks after Alvarez fights the ONE Championship lightweight title will be on the line when Lee squares off against Timofey Nastyukhin – the last man to beat Alvarez, who believes this fight could go either way.
“I think Christian’s style. The way he comes forward. I think he has to just play that style and if he plays that style, I think he’ll do a lot better,” Alvarez said. “Forcing into a wrestling, grappling match is his best chance. I think if he stands up and tries to play that game I think Timofey is going to put him away. Christian has that really high pace right from the beginning, right from the gate, grappling at that sort of pace. He’s going to have to force that on Timofey and get him tired and take away that explosiveness. It could go either way. It’s a matter of who comes out more focused and who imposes their style the most. I wish them both the best of luck.
Do you agree with Eddie Alvarez? Is Christian Lee overestimating his position among elite level lightweight fighters?