Christian Lee sees his upcoming fight with Ok Rae Yoon at ONE 160 as a clash of styles. The Hawaiian says he always tries to finish fights but his opponent tries to drag them out as long as possible.
Yoon has been the distance in all four of his ONE Championship fights. He has won all four, culminating in the decision victory over Lee at ONE: ‘Revolution’ last year which earned him the lightweight belt.
Lee stops short of calling Yoon a boring fighter. But in an interview with Sports Keeda he accuses the champion of intentionally stalling,
“His biggest strength is his durability. He’s a tough guy, he can take a punch and he’s able to sustain his cardio for five rounds. His weakness is that he’s not really trying to win the fight, he’s tying to survive. He’s not trying to finish he’s just hoping that his opponents get tired trying to finish him.”
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) October 18, 2021
If that is a deliberate strategy from Yoon then it has proved highly effective so far. Lee did appear to fade down the stretch during their title fight and ended up losing despite being the aggressor in the early stages.
Lee was very upset with the decision and he fractured Yoon’s orbital during the fight sidelining the Korean for the best part of a year. It has been a frustrating wait but he was happy to get another 25 minutes of action under his belt,
“I’m not going to spend any more time getting upset over it and it’s good that I got another five round experience. It’s the second full five rounds and I’m sure its not going to be the last.”
Lee dismissed the idea that the extended break might have been a blessing in disguise. He says he didn’t take any damage in the first fight and wanted the rematch to happen sooner,
“I was ready to go, I wanted the rematch to happen sooner (but) during this time off I’ve taken the opportunity to grow my skills and reinvent myself, reinvent my game and I feel that in my next fight there is going to be a big difference.”
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Despite the admission that he felt tired towards the end of the first fight Lee is planning to make another fast start at ONE 160,
“I’m going to go out there and ush the pace for all five rounds. He’s not going to last five rounds, I plan on finishing Ok Rae Yoon in the first round.”
Lee is a veteran of 19 ONE Championship bouts but believes Yoon was his toughest opponent because,
“I like to go in there and get the job done. Ok is the complete opposite he likes to drag the fight out.”
🚨 BREAKING 🚨 Ok Rae Yoon and Christian Lee run it back for the ONE Lightweight World Championship! Plus, knockout artists Thanh Le and Tang Kai battle for the ONE featherweight crown 👑👑
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) July 5, 2022
But he is also grateful to the Korean for providing him with a proper test,
“It’s good that he has that style to push me to test me.”
Having been fit and healthy ever since the first fight Lee has just had to sit and wait while Yoon recovers from surgery. But the fight is only a month away now and the former champion says he is ready to snatch back his belt,
“I’ve been waiting for this rematch for a long time. Now it’s set I’m ready to go.”