Islam Makhachev balks at crossover fight offer from ONE Championship titleholder Christian Lee

Islam Makhachev
Mandatory Credit: Zuffa LLC & ONE Championship

Recently minted undisputed UFC lightweight titleholder, Islam Makhachev, has urged recently minted ONE championship welterweight champion and reigning lightweight titleholder, Christian Lee to focus on his next fight, rather than calling for a bout against him, after Lee urged Makhachev to book a matchup to determine the best lightweight on the planet. 

Makhachev, the current undisputed lightweight champion under the UFC banner, clinched the Octagon crown back at UFC 280 last month against Brazilian finisher, Charles Oliveira, securing a second round arm-triangle submission win.

UFC Promo

Off the back of the victory, the Makhachkala native has been booked to make main event honors at UFC 284 in February against undisputed featherweight best, Alexander Volkanovski in Perth, Australia.

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As for Lee, the Canadian-born duel-weight titleholder, won the ONE Championship lightweight belt back in 2019 against Shinya Aoki, before scoring two successful title defenses against Iuri Lapicus, and then Timofey Nastyukin. 

Dropping the title via decision to Ok Rae Yoon, Lee would then score a second round knockout over Ok in the immediate title rematch to reclaim the throne, before minting himself as a two-weight champion with a recent fourth round knockout win over Kiamrian Abbasov – winning the welterweight crown.

Christian Lee calls for a fight with UFC titleholder, Islam Makhachev

Recently calling for a fight against Makhachev in a cross-over matchup, Lee touted himself as the best lightweight on the planet right now.

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”I saw a recent video where a fellow competitor over in the UFC, Islam Makhachev, called me out,” Christian Lee said following his welterweight title win. “He’s inviting me over to the UFC to fight him for his lightweight title. I would love to make that fight happen. Let’s see it. Let’s do a cross-promotion event: lightweight world champion from UFC against lightweight world champion from ONE Championship. We’ll see who’s the real best lightweight in the world.”

“Right now, I’m the lightweight world champion (and) the welterweight world champion,” Christian Lee explained. “I want to fight the best of the best. So whoever that may be. … A potential crossover fight between UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev, that’s definitely an exciting fight. But we’ll see where it goes. I’m keeping my options and just whatever I could do to challenge myself.” (Transcribed by MMA Junkie)

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Balking at a potential crossover pairing with Lee, Makahchev urged the duel-weight champion to focus on his next challenger within the Chatri Sityodtong-led ONE Championship banner.

“Ha!” Islam Makhachev tweeted in response to Christian Lee. “You better focus on your next contender Saygid Izagakhmaev, and we will see how good you are (winking face emoji).”