Chatri Sityodtong Predicts Christian Lee’s MMA Return “Later This Year”


  • Christian Lee has not had an MMA fight since November 2022.
  • However, ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong believes that Lee will return to battle soon.

During 2024, MMA Fans anticipated the return of two-weight ONE World Champion Christian “The Warrior” Lee. Lee was supposed to return to the Circle last February, but his family understandably had a lot on their plate. So the 25-year-old’s re-entry to ONE was pushed back.

But ONE President and CEO Chatri Sityodtong gave fans an update on when they can expect to see Lee again. Speaking to Sportskeeda, Sityodtong revealed that Lee’s return will indeed happen soon.

“He’s coming back in the lightweight division. He will be back later this year. The date is still to be determined. There are always a lot of moving parts to build a great card, but he’s back 100 percent this year,” Sityodtong said.

“I think we’ll be announcing another American event and another Tokyo event in the next few weeks as well, and I believe Christian will be featured on American soil.”

Lee last saw action in a memorable contest at ONE on Prime Video 4 in November 2022. He came back from the brink of defeat to stop Kiamrian Abbasov in the fourth round, adding the ONE Welterweight World Championship to his resume as a dual champion.

The cloth that Lee is cut from proves that he will return to his truest form when he returns to action, so fans will be keeping an eye out to see which US card he will be performing on when the time comes.

What are the possible fights for Christian Lee?

When two-division ONE World Champion Christian Lee’s return to the Ring happens, a litany of contenders will have the chops to get their shot against him.

But being a two-weight champion, Lee will have names in both the welterweight and lightweight brackets gunning to clash. One of those could be former light king and old enemy Ok Rae Yoon. And in the welterweight division, Hiroyuki Tetsuka could have his name in the hat after an impressive five-fight winning streak. But when Lee goes back into the Circle, ONE President and CEO Chatri Sityodtong wants to make sure it’s the right place and time.

“We’re going to do an interim welterweight world title fight. We have two contenders in mind that we want to put together. I hope people understand that we had to slow down both divisions out of respect and courtesy to Christian,” Sityodtong said.

“But if you were in Christian’s situation, having to deal with the birth of your child and the loss of a loved one, I think we did the right thing by letting Christian come back when he’s ready.”

ONE Championship returns to the United States in September with ONE 168 in Denver, Colorado. The world’s largest martial arts organization then sets foot Stateside in November, making its debut in Atlanta, Georgia, with ONE 170.

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