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Kiamrian Abbasov vs. Christian Lee: 4 keys to welterweight world title victory at ONE on Prime Video 4

Breaking down the key points ahead of the blockbuster main event in Singapore, which streams live in North American primetime on Friday.
kiamrian-abbasov

Christian Lee (16-4) has the chance to join an elite group of two-division ONE world champions when he meets Kiamrian Abbasov (23-5) this Friday.

The reigning ONE lightweight world champion is stepping up to challenge for Abbasov's ONE welterweight world title in the main event of ONE on Prime Video 4, which airs live in U.S. primetime from Singapore Indoor Stadium.

However, it won't be an easy task for the Singaporean-American superstar.

Abbasov is a formidable force in his natural weight class – packing strength and power alongside a well-rounded skill set.

Both mixed martial artists have a wide array of tools at their disposal, but which ones are most likely to earn them the win? Here are the biggest keys to victory for each competitor ahead of their world champion vs. world champion tussle.

1. Abbasov's physicality 

Abbasov will only have a 1-inch height advantage over "The Warrior," but his muscular frame means he will be the more physically imposing athlete inside the ONE circle. He could make use of this edge by getting into close quarters.

"Brazen" likes to work from the clinch with dirty boxing and knees, which will accrue damage while impressing his weight upon the smaller man.

From there, he can look for openings to attack with his wrestling, including body lock takedowns and trips.

If he can get on top of Lee, the powerful Kyrgyz has great top control, punishing ground-and-pound, and a good arsenal of chokes. 

But even if he can't, the constant grind might wear down the challenger and take away his explosiveness.

2. Lee keeping space to strike 

Lee needs to avoid the kind of stifling clinch battle that Abbasov might employ and stay at the end of his range to make the most of his own powerful strikes. 

Although "The Warrior" will be giving up some height, he will actually have the reach advantage. His wingspan measures 76 inches to Abbasov's 73, and this will be crucial for maintaining the distance behind his long punches. 

As the leading finisher in ONE history with 15 stoppage victories, Lee has showcased the kind of concussive power that can change any fight in an instant, and the longer he stays in a striking battle, the more chances he'll have to land.

The 24-year-old will have to be savvy around Abbasov's power and pick his shots from the outside until the welterweight king makes a mistake that creates an opening.

3. Abbasov staying patient

Although he's also a potent finisher, Abbasov might look to play the long game in his ONE welterweight world title defense.

"Brazen" has been to the judges nine times, winning eight, which shows that he's comfortable going all the way if he has to.

Conversely, Lee has gone to judges just three times, losing two of them – both world championship five-rounders. 

With a gameplan to tire his foe out, Abbasov can try to rack up a lead on the scorecards and then take advantage in the later stages. Plus, he could pile on his heavy punches and knees if Lee starts to falter and opens up gaps in his defense.

The defending king showed both his conditioning and durability to take out James Nakashima in the fourth round of their world title encounter, proving he's dangerous at any stage of the match.

4. Lee's early blitzes

While Abbasov might wait for his opportunity, Lee will likely try to strike hard and early – something he's built his reputation on. 

"The Warrior" has finished 15 of his 16 wins, with 11 of them coming in the opening frame. Not many foes have been able to survive his first-round blitzes, and those who did were often worn out from trying. 

The Singaporean-American stays busy with a high volume of punches, but he also has the ability to fire hard counters. Lee has to respect the big right hand of Abbasov, but if he can draw that shot out of the Kyrgyz star, he might find a route to his chin.

Applying early pressure might also be "The Warrior's" best chance of getting on top of Abbasov – by swarming him with strikes to take his eyes off the takedown – and from there, his ground strikes are relentless.

Lee poses a well-rounded threat, and by combining all of his offense into a first-round melee, it might be enough to take "Brazen" off his game.

This story first published at ONEFC.com.