ONE on TNT III is completely stacked. The lead card that precedes the main card has a lightweight bout between Marat Gafurov and Ok Rae Yoon. The winner of the bout will face Eddie Alvarez at ONE on TNT IV.
Marat Gafurov has already been to the pinnacle of ONE Championship and the MMA world as the former featherweight champion. Gafurov is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and pankration world champion. (For those unfamiliar with pankration, it is a combination of boxing and wrestling with more rules for instance no punches to the head. However, the rules of pankration vary from organization to organization.) Gafurov set ONE Championship on fire when he first arrived, setting a world record by finishing six opponents consecutively by rear-naked choke. During that time, Gafurov claimed the featherweight championship of the world and preserved a 15-0 record. However, he was eventually defeated in a rematch with Martin Nguyen. Since then, Marat has gone 3-2 with his losses coming to Koyomi Matsushima and Iuri Lapicus.
The 36-year-old will look to get back to his championship ways with his elite background of mixed martial arts. Gafurov’s background includes wushu sanda, pankration, combat sambo, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. With a win over Ok Rae Yoon, Gafurov will have a date with “The Underground King” Eddie Alvarez. An additional win would jump him into the mix for the lightweight strap.
Ok Rae Yoon
Ok Rae Yoon will be making his ONE Championship debut Wednesday. He will have a chance to string together two wins and immediately enter into title contention. Rae Yoon is coming off of back-to-back wins in the South Korean promotion Double G. The South Korean lightweight has an MMA record of 11-3. Rae Yoon has three knockouts to his name, one submission, and seven decisions. He has lost two of his fights by decision and one by KO to rising UFC prospect Yadong Song back in 2015. Rae Yoon will enter this fight as an underdog, with nothing to lose and everything to gain, as a win would put him on the map and under the bright lights of the co-main event of ONE on TNT IV versus Eddie Alvarez.
Winner Fights Eddie Alvarez
Eddie Alvarez is coming fresh off a disqualification loss to Iuri Lapicas due to illegal strikes to the back of the head. Before the disqualification, Eddie Alvarez looked to be controlling the first and only minute of the fight. ONE Championship is wasting no time getting “The Underground King” back in action as he looks to become the first fighter to ever pull of the hattrick. Alvarez has already claimed a Bellator and UFC title and has only ONE Championship left to conquer. However, Alvarez also has boxing on the mind. Chatri Sityodtong, CEO and founder of ONE Championship, as well as Alvarez himself, have both made public that there are serious discussions for Eddie Alvarez to step into the boxing ring with Oscar De La Hoya in July.
Title Shot Implications
When Eddie Alvarez does face off against the winner of Gafurov versus Rae Yoon, the winner will have to have an incredibly impressive performance to catapult themselves past the title shot picture and into an actual title bout. Christian Lee is the current lightweight kingpin. Currently, Iuri Lapicus and Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev sit above Eddie Alvarez in the line for a title shot. However, Marat Gafurov is leaking closely behind as the number five ranked lightweight.
How to Watch ONE On TNT III: https://www.onefc.com/news/
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