MANILA, Philippines—Christian Lee is the youngest of the World champions and is poised to have a career froth with further accolades, but the 22-year-old is looking in the previous generation to help bolster his path.
Evolve MMA’s standout holds the ONE World lightweight title and he’s looking to have a scrap against former champion Eduard Folayang, who is 13 years his senior.
“I would love to share the ONE Circle with Eduard Folayang,” said Lee as per the promotion’s website. “I have a lot of respect for all that he’s accomplished in his career, and I think that we could put on a great show for the fans.”
Team Lakay’s Folayang (22-9) is, arguably, the Philippines’ best mixed martial artists having won the ONE World lightweight title twice and is seen as one of the great ambassadors of the sport.
Age has eventually caught up with the 35-year-old Folayang with three of his last four bouts all ending in defeats.
Nevertheless, Lee (13-3) wants to test his mettle against one of the all-time greats.
“Eduard is a very good striker and is now rounding out his wrestling and jiu-jitsu,” said Lee. “However, I feel that his main strengths are his heart and his killer instinct. He’s a two-time former ONE lightweight World champion, so he doesn’t have many weaknesses. I think he’s a great fighter.”
Folayang’s recent losses saw him fall out of the lightweight rankings as he’s currently not in the top five of the division.
This predicament prevents him from facing Lee, but the prospect of going up against the man who now sits at what was once his throne is enticing for Folayang.
“It’s going to be a very challenging match if I face Christian Lee. I know I am still far from a World Title match, but in the future, I am looking forward to facing him,” said Folayang who has nothing but good words for the young champion.
“I was very impressed with his improvement. I saw his growth as an athlete. It’s a big challenge for me if we face each other. I want to face him, and I hope he remains the champ by then.”
A matchup between the two is also another episode in the professional rivalry of the Philippines’ Team Lakay and Singapore’s Evolve MMA—two of the greatest stables in Asia.
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