Ok Rae Yoon ‘Loved’ Competing In United States, Targets World Title Bout Next
Former ONE Lightweight World Champion and current #1-ranked contender Ok Rae Yoon is on a mission to regain the 26 pounds of gold he once wore around his waist.
This past May at ONE Fight Night 10: Johnson vs. Moraes III on Prime Video, the South Korean star took a massive step closer to achieving his goal when he earned a decision victory over perennial tough-out Lowen Tynanes.
The bout took place in Denver, Colorado, at ONE’s historic debut on U.S. soil, and Ok says he had a blast competing in front of a wild, sold-out crowd at 1stBank Center.
He told ONEFC.com:
“I must say, the American event and the fans were incredibly lively and passionate compared to events in other countries. I loved it.”
As much as he enjoyed fighting in front of North American fans, the former lightweight titleholder admits he struggled to adjust to both the time zone and the Colorado altitude.
“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.”
Ok was also quick to credit Tynanes, who displayed an evolved striking game that complemented his world-class grappling.
And while he ultimately earned the victory, the 32-year-old was somewhat disheartened that the fight went to the judges:
“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.”
Ok Wants Interim Title Bout Or Trilogy Fight With Lee Next
While he wasn’t entirely satisfied with his performance, Ok Rae Yoon picked up a pivotal win at ONE Fight Night 10 to maintain his status as the top-ranked lightweight MMA contender. Naturally, he is targeting a World Title shot in his next bout.
However, reigning king Christian Lee has been out of competition since defeating Ok in their World Title rematch last August, as he continues to mourn the tragic death of his younger sister, Victoria Lee
The South Korean would love to meet Lee in a grudge match next, but if the titleholder isn’t ready to return soon, he’s just as happy to fight for interim gold.
“I was always number 1, and I am still number 1. 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.”
And according to the Team Mad representative, the two lightweight stars must eventually settle their score in a trilogy bout.
“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.”