This Sunday, 13 October, the South Korean will face the Myanmar veteran in a battle of featherweight knockout artists in Tokyo, Japan.
The 25-year-old from Seoul may lack the professional experience of his upcoming opponent – who has earned all but one of his wins via finish – but he has no doubt he can deliver under the spotlight at the biggest event in martial arts history.
“I’ve watched Phoe Thaw competing while I was monitoring ONE Championship matches,” Yoon says.
“I wanted to face him in the Circle. He has a stellar track record, but I also spotted weaknesses. I have a knack for knockout wins, and so does he. How much more interesting can things get?”
“The Big Heart” has emerged as one of The Home Of Martial Arts’ hottest young talents in 2019 thanks to two first-round stoppages.
In his debut at ONE: A NEW ERA, he out-struck, and then submitted, eight-time national Muay Thai champion from India, Bala “The Tulunad Warrior” Shetty. He followed that with a spectacular KO of Trestle “Jun Minion” Tan in June.
He predicts he will not need the judges once again at the Ryogoku Kokugikan because he has become sharper in every area of mixed martial arts since that last contest.
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Though he is certain he can use his grappling to win comfortably, he has no fear of mixing things up with “Bushido” on the feet where he is at his strongest because of his background in his country’s national sport of lethwei.
“I’ve bolstered my ground skills to become more adept in jiu-jitsu and wrestling, [but] I’ll choose my weapon depending on whether my opponent chooses to strike or to grapple,” Yoon says.
“I won’t be surprised if my opponent lasts longer, but I intend to finish the match either in the first round or early in the second. I am confident I will be able to show all of my skills.”
“The Big Heart’s” motivation for this contest is also boosted by the fact he feels comfortable competing in Tokyo. His first professional match-up was in the Japanese capital, and he also took part in the mixed martial arts reality show Fighting Agent War there as an amateur last year.
Even a huge difference in his normal competition schedule will make no difference, according to to the Busan native.
Because his encounter with Phoe Thaw is second on the bill of this historic, two-card event, he will enter the Circle shortly after 9am, but the 25-year-old believes the occasion will ensure his energy is at peak levels.
“I get so pumped up ahead of matches that I don’t think the timing of the match will affect me. I can fight all night if I have to,” Yoon says.
“I’m really excited to get a chance to put on what will surely be a sizzling match in Japan where I have built up some recognition.”
Tokyo | CENTURY | ONE Championship’s 100th Live Event | Tickets: Purchase here
- Watch PART I in USA on 12 October at 8pm EST and PART II on 13 October at 4am EST
- Watch PART I in India on 13 October at 5:30am IST and PART II at 1:30pm IST
- Watch PART I in Indonesia on 13 October at 7am WIB and PART II at 3pm WIB
- Watch PART I in Singapore on 13 October at 8am SGT and PART II at 4pm SGT
- Watch PART I in the Philippines on 13 October at 8am PHT and PART II at 4pm PHT
- Watch PART I in Japan on 13 October at 9am JST and PART II at 5pm JST
ONE: CENTURY is the biggest World Championship martial arts event in history with 28 World Champions featured across various martial arts. No organization has ever promoted two full-scale World Championship events on the same day.
The Home Of Martial Arts will break new ground as it brings multiple World Title bouts, a trio of World Grand Prix Championship Finals, and several World Champion versus World Champion matches to the famous Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on 13 October.