Ok Rae Yoon Vs. Alibeg Rasulov: 4 Keys To Victory In Interim World Title Clash At ONE Fight Night 23

Pictures from Eddie Alvarez vs. Ok Rae Yoon from "ONE on TNT IV"

The main event of ONE Fight Night 23 on Prime Video will see unbeaten promotional newcomer Alibeg Rasulov take on former ONE Lightweight MMA World Champion Ok Rae Yoon for the ONE Interim Lightweight MMA World Title in an intriguing clash of styles.

That hotly anticipated World Title showdown will take place in U.S. primetime this Friday, July 5, airing live from the legendary Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

Before these elite lightweights take to the ring and battle for 26 pounds of gold – and a future World Title unification fight with divisional king Christian “The Warrior” Lee – we break down their biggest keys to victory.

#1 Rasulov’s Wrestling Against The Ropes

On paper, this main event represents a classic striker-versus-grappler matchup.

Boasting a pristine 14-0 professional MMA record, Rasulov has proven to be a world-class takedown artist with suffocating top control and a relentless grappling-based attack.

The 31-year-old Turkish sensation wants to bring this fight to the canvas, but against an experienced and well-rounded opponent like Ok, scoring the takedown in the open will be incredibly difficult.

With that in mind, Rasulov should apply patient, steady pressure to force the South Korean against the ropes. Once there, he can employ a wide array of takedown techniques, ranging from the traditional double leg to big throws and trips from inside the clinch.

#2 Ok’s Counter-Wrestling Tactics

While Rasulov is a talented grappler, Ok is one of the best lightweight strikers on the planet. Naturally, he’ll want to keep the fight standing, where he can let his blistering punches fly.

The 33-year-old is an adept wrestler, but where he really shines is using his opponent’s takedown attempts to his advantage. Whether he’s flipping the script by taking his foe’s back off a takedown attempt or punishing his rival with savage elbows and knees in close, Ok loves to attack as he defends.

Against a top-tier grappler like Rasulov, he must not only defend the takedown – but also make his opponent pay every time.

#3 Rasulov’s Damaging Ground Strikes

Under ONE’s global MMA rule set that prioritizes near-finishes and damage, the promotional newcomer can’t afford to simply secure top position and hope for a decision. Instead, Rasulov should invest plenty of energy in landing big ground strikes.

Ok is a supremely skilled defensive fighter who rarely finds himself out of position on the mat – which is exactly why Rasulov will first need to soften him up with ground-and-pound before he goes hunting for the submission.

If he can get the former titleholder on the ground, look for Rasulov to unleash an onslaught of ground strikes in hopes of slowing down Ok, scoring points, and ultimately, finding the finish.

#4 Ok’s Crispy Boxing

Ok’s technical and tricky striking has led him to impressive victories over the likes of former featherweight MMA kingpin Marat Gafurov, American legend Eddie Alvarez, and reigning ONE Lightweight MMA World Champion Lee.

Naturally, he’ll want to use that striking to win the interim gold against Rasulov.

However, he must be intentional and strategic with the strikes he throws. Because his opponent is such a dangerous grappler, the South Korean should avoid throwing many kicks and instead focus on his dynamic boxing attack as he looks to pick apart Rasulov with ruthless punches.

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