The burgeoning South Korean star thinks his upcoming foe has gotten too big for his boots ahead of their featherweight mixed martial arts contest at ONE: NEXTGEN II this Friday, 12 November.
“I do want to correct my opponent, who seems to be rather arrogant at the moment. I will definitely teach him a lesson,” Yoon says.
Tang first stoked the flames of this rivalry when he suggested that Yoon is an “unknown” athlete who is not deserving of this bout. The Chinese fighter also proclaimed that he will win via knockout and move into the divisional rankings.
“The Big Heart” – who owns five wins on the global stage compared to Tang’s four — admits he has plenty of room for improvement but belives his opponent is in the same position.
“I can’t really understand where he is getting this kind of confidence from,” Yoon says.
“I think he probably isn’t a good judge of his own level. If he is unsatisfied with his matchup and thinks it’s below him, then perhaps he isn’t really as good as he makes himself out to be.
“Honestly, besides the champion, who can you say is an acknowledged athlete worldwide? They all know the ONE Championship World Champion. And I’m not going to stop trying, humbly, until I become that champion.”
“The Big Heart’s” next step toward that goal is to defeat Tang in Singapore. And after rebounding from his only career defeat at the hands of Ryogo “Kaitai” Takahashi with a submission finish over “Cannon” Ma Jia Wen at ONE: FULL BLAST II in June, the Busan native feels ready to do so.
In fact, he believes the tough loss to Takahashi will be beneficial in the long run.
“I felt that [the win over Ma] was more gratifying than any of the wins I’ve had previously, even though other matches are also meaningful to me,” Yoon says.
“But having lost the bout before, it made me realize the importance of a win and the gratification of hard work.
“Thinking about it now, had I won that match, I think it would be worrisome if I think about how my future would have been. I might have become arrogant.”
Instead, the South Korean went back to the drawing board at Team Stungun and returned stronger than ever against a dangerous rival.
After emerging victorious, he is confident that he can continue his ascent by dictating the proceedings against Tang and getting his hand raised once again.
“Based on all the matches I’ve seen of my opponent, if he approaches this match as he has done [with] his other matches so far, then he will lose to me in every aspect,” Yoon says.
“Maybe he will be able to kick a little better from a further distance since he’s longer. But even so, in terms of boxing, wrestling, and jiu-jitsu, what has he excelled in so far?
“I can’t even think of any area where I might have a chance of losing. I’m certain that I can beat him in every aspect.
“I think I will be the one leading the entire flow and direction of the upcoming bout as, and how, I want.”
Victory over the surging Chinese star would be a big enough result in its own right, but it would also bring some redemption for “The Big Heart” and allow him to move forward in the featherweight division.
In his last outing, Tang defeated the same Japanese slugger who handed Yoon his only loss, so a win would prove that the latter can compete with high-level foes.
“Since [Tang] won with a KO against the only opponent I have lost to. The moment I heard [about the bout], it made me extremely motivated,” Yoon says.
“It made me want to go up against him no matter what, to be able to get over my personal loss and bring home an awesome win.”
With a victory, “The Big Heart” would also get the satisfaction of overcoming an opponent he feels is full of hubris.
“Tang Kai, I hope you’ll be able to stay confident during our bout,” Yoon adds.
“It’ll be a tiring and rough match – and also painful. Even then, I hope you stay confident. Because you will regret it once the match is over. I’ll make sure you learn a good lesson from this.”