Only one man has ever beaten Ok Rae Yoon during his ONE Championship career and that man is Christian Lee. The reigning lightweight champion is unlikely to fight this year but that is the fight which the Korean wants.
Yoon got back to winning ways at ONE Fight Night 10 in May. He scored a hard fought decision win over ONE Championship veteran Lowen Tynanes to underline his status as the #1 contender in the division.
He is currently 1-1 with Lee having secured a controversial split decision win in the first fight. Yoon wants a trilogy fight with the champion and believes that is the match to make,
“When Christian Lee returns, I think we have to compete immediately. It doesn’t matter anytime, and I’ll bring the title back. Since our record is currently tied at 1-1, it’s time for a final fight to determine the winner once and for all.”
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) September 24, 2021
Lee looks set to spend a year on the sidelines following the tragic death of his sister, Victoria Lee. Having only fought once himself in 2023 the Korean would be open to fighting for an interim title in the champion’s absence,
“I was always number one, and I am still number one. So I definitely should jump on to the next title fight. Christian Lee said he would return next year, and if there is an interim title bout before that, I think it’s right for me to do it, and it doesn’t matter who the next is.”
Among the contenders at lightweight are Saygid Izagakhmaev and Halil Amir. But Yoon is just happy to have earned a win against another opponent who already had seven ONE Championship victories on his record,
“My opponent was strong at grappling in this match, so I set up a strategy to highlight my striking rather than engage in a grappling match. However, my opponent put up a stronger resistance than I anticipated, and I am disappointed that I was unable to finish him,” he explained.
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Yoon was fighting in the US for the first time. Having spent his entire career in Asia he found it difficult to adjust to being in a new climate and time zone,
“I came two weeks before the match to adjust to the jet lag. However, adjusting to the effects of jet lag was quite challenging, and I was not in the best physical condition. My physical condition and stamina were more difficult than facing the opponent. Whether this was due to the elevation or the time difference, it wasn’t easy to adapt.”
The face that he managed to earn a unanimous decision win over the durable Tynanes suggests that Yoon adapted just fine. His previous four ONE Championship fights have all taken place in Singapore and the Korean enjoyed making his US debut,
“I must say, the American event and the fans were incredibly lively and passionate compared to events in other countries. I loved it.”
Yoon had already beaten Marat Gafurov, Eddie Alvarez and Christian Lee and Tynanes’ name can now be added to the list. Between then these men have won too many titles to list.
The stoppage loss at the hands of Lee is the sole blemish on his recent record. Yoon wants to avenge that defeat but, regardless of who he is matched with next, the 32 year old hopes there will be a title on the line.