November 13

Luis Santos misses target weight for Ben Askren fight; ONE Championship boss ‘disgusted’


It looks like it will be a rough road for mixed martial arts fighter, Luis Santos, in the next couple of years.

Luis Santos, who has a record of 61-9-1, didn’t make the target weight for his title rematch against current champion Ben Askren this coming ONE Championship 32. The title fight was cancelled because of this incident. However, Askren still asked Santos to do a second weigh-in this coming Friday at 1 p.m. local time in Singapore. Both fighters should be 190 pounds or less in order to make the non-title fight happen.

Victor Cui, ONE Championship’s CEO, is not particularly impressed with Santos because of this MMA incident. In fact, he even said that Santos’ career with ONE Championship isn’t looking too good due to this failed weigh-in.

“This is single-handedly one of the most unprofessional things I’ve ever seen from a fighter in the history of ONE Championship. 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,” Cui said in a recent interview with MMAjunkie.

Ben AskrenDuring the weigh-ins, Santos missed the target weight by 2 pounds and came in at 172 pounds. It was reported that right after the weigh-ins, the fight was “still under negotiation”. But with Askren’s callout to change the catchweight and move it up to 190 pounds, it looks like the ball is now on “Sapo”’s team. The fight is scheduled to be the main card of ONE Championship 32, which can be watched as an online PPV in North America from Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.

Askren was first challenged by Santos last April at ONE Championship 26. The fight proceeded as scheduled, but the MMA champ accidentally poked Santos’ eye while trying to stay away from the takedowns. When Santos couldn’t continue anymore, the decision was to end the fight and ruled a no-contest.

Cui admitted that he really wanted this fight to happen. But with Santos missing the target weight, it looks like the fight may never happen because it looks like Santos has now a very bad reputation on Cui and the rest of the MMA promotion heads.

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

Aside from this, Cui said that Santos didn’t even make any attempt to give an explanation why he missed the target weight.

“He’s not sick, he has no injuries – in fact, when he landed several days ago, I saw him eating, so I thought, ‘Good, he’s on weight,’” the CEO added.

Askren, on the other hand, has no issues with meeting the target weight.

“Ben’s put in the time for this fight. A fighter’s got two jobs: make weight and put on an entertaining fight. (Santos) didn’t do his job. Ben’s not known for holding back his opinion. Obviously he’s upset. If this was a prelim fight, or guys who have a record of 3-1, it would be one thing. But (Santos) has over 70 fights in his career, and this is the biggest fight of his life. To promote this event and fly him out to Singapore for an event televised to a world audience, it shows what an utter lack of professionalism he has (to miss weight),” Cui said.


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