ONE on Prime Video 23 Main Event Breakdown

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It’s the Fourth of July weekend inside the United States this weekend. Aside from all the cookouts, fireworks displays, baseball games and parades that go along with celebrating America’s independence, what else could go better with this extended holiday weekend?

How about a good, old-fashioned fight? While the UFC‘s got this weekend off, there’s still MMA to watch. Sure, it may be a lighter schedule over the weekend, but there’s plenty of competitive violence taking place between Friday and Saturday nights.

It starts on the fifth of July. Fireworks won’t end after the last boom of the night on Thursday, not in the least bit. The combat sports world tour makes a stop in Bangkok, Thailand this Friday, where it’ll already be Saturday morning local time. ONE Championship holds its monthly show on Amazon Prime Video this month, ONE on Prime Video 23.

Interim Lightweight Championship Up For Grabs in ONE on Prime Video 23 Main Event Friday Night

Live coverage begins Friday at 8 pm ET/ 5 pm PT on Prime. As always, ONE events streaming on Prime Video are accessible to subscribers of the service in the United States and Canadaย only. Outside of North America, ONE on Prime Video 23 will be available as a pay-per-view on ONE’s Website under the title ONE Fight Night 23.

All told, barring any late postponements that may come across the wires during fight week, the final version of Friday’s card will feature 11 fights across the combative disciplines. At the top of the bill is a contest at lightweight (170 lbs.) in the ONE on Prime Video 23 main event.

The ONE Interim Lightweight Championship will be on the line when Ok Rae Yoon (17-4 MMA, 4-1 ONE Championship), onetime titleholder at 170 lbs., meets undefeated challenger Alibeg Rasulov (13-0 MMA, ONE Championship promotional debut.) As with all MMA championship fights across most promotions, this one is an advertised maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round to close the show.

Stakes are high on Friday. Your winner advances to fight permanent lightweight champion Christian Lee (17-4 MMA, 17-4 ONE Championship) to unify the championships at a later date.

ONE on Prime Video 23 Main Event Fighter Comparison

Heading into the ONE on Prime Video 23 main event on Friday night, both of these men stand level at six feet even. Ok Rae Yoon owns a 75-inch reach, with no such information available for Alibeg Rasulov.

Currently, the oddsmakers have Alibeg Rasulov installed as a -160 favorite on the money line, while Ok Rae Yoon counters as a +120 underdog.ย  If you plan to bet on this or any other fight happening this weekend, please wager responsibly.

Ok Rae Yoon With Major Opportunity in Offing Pending Result of ONE on Prime Video 23 Main Event

Ok Rae Yoon enters Friday night’s headliner having gone 4-1 in his last five fights. Back in May of last year, he returned to the win column thanks to a unanimous decision victory over Lowen Tynanes (12-2 MMA, 7-2 ONE Championship) in ONE on Prime Video 10.

Ok, who’s gone 1-1 lifetime against Christian Lee, was interviewed by ONE ahead of the fight and the stakes aren’t lost on him going into this contest.

“I have to admit that I see this fight as a direct path back to facing Christian again,” Ok began. “I sometimes think more about him than my upcoming opponent. Of course, I fully understand that Alibeg is a powerful and formidable opponent, but I do think about my desire to fight Christian again.”

Thinking too far ahead is a dangerous thing for any fighter. Ok Rae Yoon has to take his pursuit of reclaiming the permanent championship one fight at a time, starting with the ONE on Prime Video 23 main event.

Rasulov in Highest-Profile Fight Friday

In the other corner, Alibeg Rasulov has yet to lose thus far in his MMA career. Last time out, he scored a unanimous decision win against Cezary Oleksiejczuk (13-3 MMA) right before Christmas during the Khan Fight 3 main event in Bursa, Turkey on Dec. 13 on YouTube.

While that fight was only a three-round affair, this fight will go (at most) 25 minutes on Friday night. Despite the fact that the headliner is for an interim championship, Rasulov isn’t letting the ONE Championship spotlight get the better of him, as he mentioned recently.

“I’m very excited about it and happy to be given such an opportunity,” Rasulov commented. “I feel no pressure at all. It’s a good chance for me. My goal in ONE Championship is to become a dominant champion. This win is very important for me. I will be ready.”

A confident statement, for sure, but can he turn his words into action this weekend?

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

The ONE on Prime Video 23 main event looks to be another strength versus strength matchup. Who will win the day?

Look for Ok Rae Yoon to Use Defense to Create Offense

Ok Rae Yoon’s adversary this week is known to be a tough customer in the shop. Thus, the best way for him to knock Rasulov off of his gameplan is to fight defensively

After having to defend a body triangle in his fight vs. Marat Gafurov in round one, the second stanza saw Ok landing a two-punch combination before Gafurov landed knees in the clinch. Later on in the round, Ok landed several bursts of reverse elbows, leading to an attempted arm-triangle choke while softening Gafurov up with hammerfists.

Another effort at a triangle choke was made late in round two but was jettisoned in favor of more hammerfists from the closed guard as the round ended. If Ok Rae Yoon uses his defense advantageously, he can flip the script on Friday night.

Rasulov Has Great Ground Game

In the other corner, Alibeg Rasulov is vicious with submissions. One need look no further than his fight versus Arsen Faikov in 2018. Late in the opening round of the fight, after securing top position and softening Faikov up with ground and pound shots, he applied the torque to lock in a kimura choke with only one second left on the clock.

Rasulov’s key to victory on Friday night: Dump Ok Rae Yoon as soon as possible. The quicker he gets Ok on the mat, the better his chances are at spoiling an Ok Rae Yoon/ Christian Lee trilogy bout in the future.

If he’s got an opening, he’ll take it.

Final Thoughts

On a weekend with no UFC, this is a good fight. The ONE on Prime Video 23 main event is not to be missed.

Prediction: Ok Rae Yoon by Unanimous Decision.

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Drew Zuhosky has been writing about combat sports since May of 2018, coming to MMASucka after stints at Overtime Heroics and Armchair All-Americans. A graduate of Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, Drew is a charter member of the Youngstown Press Club. Prior to beginning his professional career, Drew was a sportswriter for YSU's student-run newspaper, The Jambar, where he supplied Press Box Perspective columns every week.