His rapid progress was somewhat halted when dropping the title to Ok Rae Yoon via decision last year, but responded in the best possible way by immediately reclaiming the gold in August – this time he didn’t put things in the hands of the judges, relying on a barrage of knees to stop things in the second round. 

Angela, the brother of a fighter family, was also born to him. ONE world champion, is now ready – both mentally and physically – to move up in weight and target another title.

“Going into this fight, I feel that my cardio is better than it’s ever been,” He said. “I truly feel like I’m in the best shape that I’ve been in so far. I think it’s easy to make the mistake when you’re moving up a weight division, to just simply put on the size, to put on the extra weight, and then to neglect the cardio. 

“I took some time to put on extra weight so that when I did step up the training, and when I did start doing my cardio, I would be able to be in the same shape I was fighting for the lightweight title as I’m going to be for the welterweight title.”

Lee He believes this fight makes sense and will be claiming the title. After that, he will let his body adjust to the move to 185lbs.

“I believe it’s about two years since [Abbasov] I defended my title as welterweight champion. I’ve been actively clearing out the lightweight division. There is currently no clear contender. Given that there are no fights in either the lightweight or the welterweight divisions, it makes sense to combine the champions.

“When I claim the title, that’s when I take the time to fully make the switch and adjust my weight and adjust my training to be comfortable fighting at 185.”

Assamov (23-5), has himself tried to make the move up a division – failing to claim the middleweight crown earlier this year following a third round stoppage against Reinier de Ridder – and is looking forward to welcoming Lee He is looking forward to taking on the welterweights but believes that it will prove difficult for his opponent.

“Christian is a good opponent,” He said. “He is a good, explosive fighter, but I know his weaknesses and I am not a guy from his division – the rules are different here.”

With the rise in Lee’s weight for this fight, Assamov is keen to see how the jump reflects on his cardio – something the Kyrgyzstan fighter’s wrestling is perfectly suited for.

“As you know, I prefer not to rely only on my wrestling. He is welcome to trade punches if he feels like it. This is what we love to do. 

“But if he feels brave enough to wrestle then I can take him to deep waters, and we will see who has more oxygen.”ONE Fight Night 4: Abbasov vs. Lee takes Saturday, November 19, 5 a.m. GST at Singapore Indoor Stadium Arena. This is an evening not to miss, so mark you calendars. Download the ONE Super App. Visit watch.onefc.com today!