Come the main event of Friday’s ONE on Prime Video 4, Kiamrian Abbasov had already lost his title, the latest champ to be stripped of his belt after hitting the scales heavy at weigh-ins.
This was the second ONE Championship card in a row where the headlining champion had lost their belt on the scale, as it was only last month that John Lineker lost his belt when he missed weight by a quarter pound. Abbasov, now the former welterweight champion, missed by 1.25 pound; the end result was the same.
That left only Christian Lee, the promotion’s lightweight title holder, eligible to win the welterweight belt in Singapore, as he pursued double-champ status.
With a point to prove, the former champ Abbasov came out firing off the opening bell, connecting on Lee several times. Lee was soon retreating, from one side of the cage to another, before he was finally able to tie things up, looking to land a throw in the clinch. Abbasov, however, was too strong for the lightweight champ to take down. Instead, moments later, it was Abbasov pursuing his own takedown, though Lee escaped, and the pair moved back to center.
Lee then connected with a combo, opening up Abbasov, with a bit of blood leaking from the ex-champ’s nose. Abbasov then ducked a punch and grabbed on with a body lock, only for Lee to break it – but Abbasov dropped his opponent moments later! He went after the finish, but Lee made it back up, staggered. He wound up retreating, then took lefts, rights, and knees against the fence, then uppercut after uppercut, looking out on his feet. Ref Herb Dean looked on, allowing the action to continue, while Lee grabbed a leg, looking less for a takedown and more for a chance to survive. He secured that with a late takedown, and a fight that surely could have been stopped headed to round two.
Had Abbasov emptied the tank chasing the finish? Lee was able to go on the attack early in the second, firing a head kick followed by a right. He backed Abbasov up to the fence, then landed a takedown, going straight to mount. After a moment, he postured up, and landed some big shots, but Abbasov scrambled just enough to grab a leg, and threaten with a leg lock — producing the space necessary to escape up and out.
The next attack by Lee was led with a knee to the body, followed with a right hand, and saw lefts, rights, and leg kicks mixed in. Abbasov, so dominant in the first, was getting lit up himself, but with just over 90 seconds to go, he landed a brief takedown, and tied things up, slowing the pace. Abbasov was bleeding, and his body language practically screamed that he was tiring. Big deep breaths, hands on his hips.
Round three found Lee looking like he’d lost a step as well. Abbasov was hanging in there, though Lee smartly focused on the body with knees and kicks. Abbasov caught Lee with an uppercut coming in, but Lee walked through it. They tied up along the cage two minutes in, where Lee attempted a trip, only for Abbasov to show impressive balance. Making it to the end of the third, given how exhausted he had looked in round two, was a small victory in itself for Abbasov.
Then again, the same thing could be said for Lee after round one. But come the championship rounds, the fight was up for grabs. The pair continued to trade, both landing, both walking through some clean punches. Lee tried a level change, looking for a takedown; that was stuffed, but a knee a moment later landed for the lightweight champ. Two minutes in, Lee pressed forward with a flurry of offense. Abbasov was finding himself backed up to the fence. Lee connected with a kick to the body, then landed outside on the leg. Two more outside leg kicks followed, and Abbasov was not taking them well. Lee went right after the limb, forcing Abbasov to bail out, but he was walked down again, and covered up as Lee went on the attack again. A big knee to the body landed for Christian Lee. Abbasov fired back, but ate a huge elbow for his troubles; a volley of elbows followed, but Abbasov refused to go down.
After that, Lee changed levels, and hit a double-leg takedown with a minute to go. Lee moved to mount, and dropped elbows, opening up Abbasov more and finally earning the TKO win! And with it, a second title, as Chrstian Lee becomes that latest double champ in ONE.
Official Result: Christian Lee def. Kiamrian Abbasov by TKO (elbows), Round 4, 4:20