“Hungry” Yang Hae Jun Sets Sights on Light Heavyweight Title with Weight Class Shift
After narrowly losing the Legend Middleweight Title to Liu Wenbo at Legend 10, Yang hopes a shift in weight classes will rekindle his shot at a belt
In preparation for his last fight at Legend 11, “Hungry” Yang Hae Jun prepared himself for Sam Brown’s notorious knockout power. Yang’s strategy against Brown was to unpredictably mix wrestling and striking, and rely on his ground-and-pound to do damage and score points. Although at one point Yang found himself bleeding from the ear after a devastating combination from Brown, in the end Yang’s strategy paid off as he took home the win by unanimous decision. Yang also gives credit to the training regime put together by Master Baek at Korea’s Nova MMA. “Even though I beat Sam Brown, I know he is a dangerous fighter. I know he has asked for a rematch, and with his well-rounded skill set, anything can happen in a second fight,” Yang said.
The weight cut is a major reason for Yang’s decision to go up in weight class from middleweight to light heavyweight as he felt it was affecting his performance in the ring. “It’s very hard for me to lose weight. I had to pay detailed attention to my diet and training for more than a month to fight as a middleweight, but I felt like I sacrificed both the power and speed that I had as a light heavyweight. I had a brutal weight cut for the fight with Liu Wenbo, and it made me realize that I prefer to fight in the light heavyweight division.”
Yang hopes to fight Yuki Niimura in his next Legend outing because “Niimura has sharp striking and a great ground defense ability.” Even though Yang is proficient at both wrestling and boxing, he believes he still has a long way to go and is looking to take on any opponent who will test his skills and enable him to develop as a fighter.
For the rest of 2013, Yang hopes to pick up another few victories at Legend and be able to go through all his fights without injury. “I would like to thank Legend fans for supporting the sport of MMA and Legend as an organization. I will be back with more aggressive and explosiveness in my fight. Thank you for giving “Hungry” all your support!”