BEN ASKREN AND LUIS SANTOS MAKE WEIGHT AHEAD OF ONE CHAMPION’S BIGGEST CARD.
ONE Championship is set for the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila tonight and will be headlined by a welterweight bout that sees undefeated American Ben Askren make the first defence of his belt against Brazil’s Luis Santos.
Askren (14-0) believes fervently that he is the best welterweight on the planet and he will have an opportunity to provide further evidence to support that thesis when he takes on highly experienced striking specialist Santos (61-9-1).
Both men weighed in bang on the welterweight limit of 170 lbs and Askren was in confident mood stating that: “Luis Santos is not going to take the ONE Welterweight World Championship from me. I’m going to walk across the cage, take him down and beat him up, and there’s nothing he can do to stop me.”
Askren will be looking for a fifth straight stoppage win but Santos warned the former US Olympian that he has every intention of taking the title and putting a first blemish on his perfect professional record.
“I am ready to walk away with the ONE Welterweight World Championship. I am confident in my abilities no matter where the fight goes. If Ben Askren takes me down, I will submit him. If we fight on the feet, I will knock him out. Either way, I am walking away with the ONE Welterweight World Championship.”
The co-main event sees the promotional debut of popular Filipino Mark Striegl (13-1) who was a top featherweight contender with both PXC and Legend FC but has dropped down to bantamweight. He weighed in at 134 lbs while his opponent, undefeated American Casey Suire (5-0), was 135 lbs.
Most organizations allow a 1 lbs allowance but ONE Championship’s rules state that a fighter must come in no heavier than the divisional limit and Geje Eustaquio (6-3) fell foul of them. He weighed in at 126 lbs and presumably incurred some financial penalties ahead of his flyweight fight with Anatpong Bunrad (4-1) who stepped on the scales at 125 lbs.
Everyone else made weight at the first attempt although one notable chance to the card sees Bashir Ahmad (3-1) step in to replace Shannon Wiratchai who pulled out at the last minute. He weighed in at 150 lbs for his catchweight contest with Amir Khan (2-1) who came in at 149 lbs.
Tickets for ONE: ‘Valor of Champions’ are on sale at www.smtickets.com. Ticket categories begin with the full Red Carpet and cageside experience at PHP5380. Tickets priced at PHP3180, PHP1280, PHP640 and PHP220 are also available. Prices include ticketing fee.
Fans from around the world can witness the action online via live streaming at www.onefc.com/livestream. The event will be available for purchase at just US$9.99.
Ben Askren (77 kg/ 170 lbs) VS Luis Santos (77 kg/ 170 lbs)
Mark Striegl (61 kg/ 134 lbs) VS Casey Suire (61.1 kg/ 135 lbs)
Geje Eustaquio (57.1 kg/ 126 lbs) VS Anatpong Bunrad (56.6 kg/ 125 lbs)
Eugene Toquero (56.7 kg/ 125 lbs) VS Brianata Rosadhi (55.4 kg/ 122 lbs)
Edward Kelly (65.8 kg/ 145 lbs) VS Jimmy Yabo (65.7 kg/ 145 lbs)
Amir Khan (67.8 kg/ 149 lbs) VS Bashir Ahmad (68 kg/ 150 lbs)
Nicholas Lee (56.7 kg/ 125 lbs) VS Liu Xiao Yang (56.7 kg/ 125 lbs)
Wang Ya Wei (65.8 kg/ 145 lbs) VS Sunoto (65 kg/ 143 lbs)