Max Holloway clearly holds his fellow Hawaiian Christian Lee in high regard – even if ESPN does not. ESPN, the UFC’s official broadcast partner, recently shared a list of the best mixed martial artists under 25 years old. The 24-year-old Lee, who holds ONE Championship’s welterweight and lightweight MMA titles, featured at No 6, but came in behind several UFC fighters who have accomplished far less. Holloway, a former UFC featherweight champion and one of the best fighters in the world today, took issue with the order of ESPN’s list, and made sure to let the world know it on Facebook. View this post on Instagram A post shared by SCMP.com/MartialArts (@scmpmartialarts) “How is Lee not No 1,” Holloway wrote in the replies for ESPN’s post. “Dude is a double champ right now.” Holloway’s comment received significant support from fans, with one calling ESPN’s list “absolutely ridiculous” and another calling it “silly”. Lee is one of just two current champions on ESPN’s list – the other being the No 1-ranked Usman Nurmagomedov (16-0), who recently won the Bellator lightweight title with a decision victory over Patricky Freire. Most commenters appeared to support the Bellator champ’s spot near the top of the list. The main source of controversy seemed to be that Lee was ranked behind 24-year-old UFC flyweight contender Maycee Barber (11-2), who has won six fights in the Octagon, but also suffered two clear losses at the hands of Roxanne Modafferi and Alexa Grasso in the last two years. ONE on Prime Video 6: Aung La makes quick turnaround in Bangkok “I think the Maycee Barber thing needs to slow down,” one fan wrote. “She isn’t bad, but shouldn’t be near the top of this list.” Lee (17-4) first got his hands on ONE gold in 2019, when he defeated Japanese legend Shinya Aoki by second-round TKO to win the lightweight title. He went on to defend the lightweight belt with quick stoppages of Iuri Lapicus and Timofey Nastyukhin, before losing it with a controversial decision loss to South Korea’s Ok Rae-yoon in 2021. He then reclaimed the title in an immediate rematch with Ok earlier this year, defeating his rival by second-round TKO. That win set him up for the opportunity to challenge Kiamrian Abbasov for the welterweight title at ONE on Prime Video 4 last month in Singapore. Despite being badly hurt in the first round of his fight with Abbasov, Lee rallied to defeat his Kyrgyz rival with a volley of fourth-round punches, becoming a two-division champion in the process. After that victory, he briefly flirted with a cross-promotional super fight with UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev, who was in Singapore to corner lightweight contender Saygid Izagakhmaev. “I mean, let’s do it, let’s break some records,” Lee told the Post after the fight. “A fight between a ONE world champion and UFC world champion would create massive hype. It would make for the biggest MMA fight the world has ever seen.” The 31-year-old Holloway (23-7) knows a thing or two about success at a young age himself, having debuted with the UFC when he was just 20. Since signing with the promotion, he has enjoyed interim and undisputed title reigns at featherweight, and beaten some of the best fighters of the last decade, including Jose Aldo (twice), Frankie Edgar, Charles Oliveira, Anthony Pettis, Brian Ortega, and Yair Rodriguez. The Hawaiian last fought in the summer, when he lost a lopsided decision to reigning featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski.