MMA: Askren title defense cancelled as Santos failed to make weight

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ONE Championship’s co-main event featuring the rematch of Ben “Funky” Askren and Luis “Sapo” Santos has just been cancelled with Santos failing to make weight.

In a fight that was slated to have a maximum weight of 170 lbs, Askren made weight at 169.5 lbs during the weigh-in but Santos was 2 lbs heavier at 172.

Despite the weight issues, Askren demanded that Sapo must not exceed the weight of 190 lbs before fight but still did not make weight.

The “unprofessional” move by Santos did not please One Championship’s CEO, Victor Cui and was very vocal about it.

“This is singlehandedly one of the most unprofessional things I’ve ever seen from a fighter in the history of ONE Championship,” Cui told MMAjunkie. “He’s had months to prepare for this fight. Months. Basically, since the first fight, we said we’re going to do a rematch as soon as his eye heals. To come in that much overweight is really unprofessional. I can’t believe a professional fighter at this level, with this much at stake, would not make weight.”

Just a few months ago, Askren and Santos faced off in Manila which ended in a no contest that led to rematch in One Championship: Pride of Lions in Singapore. Despite the Askren-Santos fight derailed once again, Cui still wants to make the fight happen but the One Championship staff are too disgusted on Sapo’s actions.

“I do want to make this fight happen down the road,” Cui said. “But that said, he’s completely tainted himself. Our staff is all completely disgusted with his lack of professionalism.”

Sapo, on the other hand, still wanted to fight but blames Askren for the fight to be cancelled.

“Askren is an idiot,” Santos said. “He talks trash because I’m 900g (2 pounds) over after a tough weight cut, and he’s coming with several demands that I can’t be heavier. That doesn’t make sense. If the fight is not for the belt, why does it matter? At this point he’s just scared. I’m ready to fight him, but it looks like he’s not. If he was the one 900g over, I’d fight him anyway.”


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