Shinya Aoki has set the first title defense of his second ONE Championship lightweight title reign.
The Asian-based promotion announced Friday that Aoki will defend his belt against 20-year-old Christian Lee at “ONE Championship 95: Enter the Dragon,” which takes place May 17 at Singapore Indoor Stadium. It’s an incredibly quick turnaround for Aoki, 35, who just reclaimed the title last week with a first-round technical submission over then-champ Eduard Folayang at ONE Championship 92.
Aoki (43-8) first lost the title to Folayang in November 2016. Aoki followed up one year later with a failed bid at the welterweight title, losing to Ben Askren in just 57 seconds by TKO. Since then, though, Aoki has been on a roll. He won all three of his fights in 2018 by stoppage, leading to his reclaiming of the 170-pound title (by ONE’s classification) last week.
Lee (10-3), the younger brother of ONE women’s atomweight champ Angela Lee, is getting the biggest opportunity of his career. He’s rebounded from back-to-back losses to string together two wins in his most recent bouts, first-round TKOs over Kazuki Tokudome and Edward Kelly, respectively. The win over Kelly took place Jan. 19.
ONE Championship 95’s second official bout features the previously reported promotional debut of Sage Northcutt, who is making the jump over from the UFC. The 23-year-old Northcutt meets 36-year-old kickboxing specialist Cosmo Alexandre, who hasn’t competed in an MMA fight since 2016.