“I trained extremely hard” - Ok Rae Yoon says perseverance made him a world champion

Former ONE world champion Ok Rae Yoon is ready to reclaim his position.
Former ONE world champion Ok Rae Yoon is ready to reclaim his position.

Former ONE lightweight MMA world champion Ok Rae Yoon may have defeated some of the sport’s biggest names, but for many, the South Korean is still under their radar.

Now, the 33-year-old will return to action at ONE Fight Night 23 when he faces undefeated Turkish phenom Alibeg Rasulov in a fight that could produce the next world title challenger in his division.

Ahead of his fight in U.S. primetime on July 5, Ok shared a glimpse of his amateur days, where things didn't go as planned. Although he has raw athleticism, his first fight didn't end the way he wanted it.

But the South Korean used that defeat as motivation, and later put himself in a path towards greatness at the highest level of this sport.

He said to ONE Championship:

“I went for my first amateur fight and lost quite quickly from an armbar. I knew that I had lost not because I was a poor athlete, but because I was not skilled enough.
“I really wanted to win in an amateur fight, so I trained extremely hard for my second fight. Because of this, I competed again, and again.”

Indeed, with a win in ONE Fight Night 23, Ok would be able to secure a third opportunity to defeat Lee and once again become the lightweight king.

Christian Lee believes next contender will either be Ok Rae Yoon or Alibeg Rasulov

Meanwhile, two-division ONE world champion Christian Lee is closely observing his future lightweight challengers, Ok Rae Yoon and Alibeg Rasulov, as both will collide in a barnburner at ONE Fight Night 23.

At the sidelines of his brother's debut at ONE 167 in the sold-out Impact Arena, Lee spoke with South China Morning Post about the possible clear contender who may emerge from this bout:

"I've been watching the lightweight and welterweight divisions. Right now, I think we got a clear contender with the Ok Rae Yoon and Alibeg matchup. Definitely I think that's the No.1-ranked contender spot for the lightweight division. So, I'll be watching that closely."

Fans in the United States and Canada can catch ONE Fight Night 23 live and free with their Amazon Prime Video subscription.

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Edited by Tejas Rathi
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