Christian Lee’s title fight with Ok Rae Yoon atop Friday’s ONE: Revolution card appeared to be going his way.
Right up until the result was announced, that is.
Lee, the defending lightweight champion heading into the night, appeared to be in the driver’s seat from the outset. Early in round one, he took the South Korean challenger down, and while he couldn’t keep him there, Lee had soon taken Ok’s back.
As the fight progressed, it was more of the same. Lee damaged the challenger’s eye early, leading to vision troubles for Ok. By the third round, Ok Rae Yoon had begun to find some success on the feet — only to be knocked down by a Lee right hand, leading to a submission attempt.
Round five saw Lee rock Ok in the final minute, but the fight would go the distance — with judges awarding a unanimous decision to the challenger.
The result did not sit well with Christian Lee (15-4), who vowed to appeal the ruling after the fight.
“If I had lost the fight, I would keep my mouth shut. But I did not lose the fight,” Lee told media outlets including Cageside Press following the event. “We look at ONE Championship’s scoring criteria, the number one most important thing in the fight is a near finish. I took my opponent down, I had his back, I had a rear-naked choke on him, I came close to finishing him. I had multiple submission attempts that I put on him. I dropped him, I rocked him multiple times, and in the fifth round, I knocked him out on his feet. He almost dropped to the mat, and he didn’t know where he was.”
Lee insisted that many of Ok’s own attacks were blocked, and pointed to the damage showing on Ok Rae Yoon’s face — and in comparison, how little damage there was on his own.
“My question to the judges, my question to the media, and my question to the fans is, how was this fight judged? I’m not one to complain, but as a champion, I’ll stand firm on my decision that I did not lose this fight,” continued Lee. “I am still the champion, and this decision needs to be overturned, plain and simple.”
Lee is open to a rematch, he added, but he believes it should come with him as champion. “I do want to fight Ok Rae Yoon again, but the thing is, it’s not going to be me fighting Ok Rae Yoon for his belt. I think that the fight needs to be overturned, I think that I won that fight. So Ok Rae Yoon can have a rematch, but I’m still the champion.”
Lee clarified Friday that he had no issue with the South Korean himself. “I have absolutely nothing against Ok Rae Yoon. I’m pissed off with the decision, but that’s not Ok Rae Yoon’s fault.”
The result is likely to go to ONE Championship’s Competition Committee. Whether the decision is overturned remains to be seen; recently, the controversial result in the Denice Zamboanga vs. Seo Hee Ham fight was upheld.
“I’m confident that as a strong and upstanding organization, ONE Championship is going to do what’s right,” an emotional Lee told Cageside Press. “For me, I’m not one to complain if the fight goes to the judges. But I’m the champion, and I won every single one of ONE Championship’s scoring criteria. I came close to getting the finish, you put the two of us side-by-side and see who did more damage. I’m just very upset that there was no premise for how this fight was scored.”
“This is our lives on the line. I’m not just fighting for fun, I’m fighting for my family, I’m fighting for my baby’s future, so this isn’t something I’m just going to take lightly,” Lee continued. “I’m not going to let this poor decision affect my career, and I’m confident ONE Championship is going to do what’s right.”
Watch the full ONE: Revolution post-fight press conference with Christian Lee above. More coverage from the event can be found below.