Ben Askren won't be fighting this weekend, through no fault of his own.
The ONE Championship welterweight champion was supposed to defend his belt n a rematch with Luis Santos at ONE: Pride of Lions on Friday in Sinapore. The title, however, was taken off the table when Santos missed weight by two pounds (172) Thursday. Askren gave "Sapo" a chance to fight anyway -- provided the Brazilian did not weigh more than 190 pounds in a second weigh-in Friday morning.
According to a tweet from ONE CEO Victor Cui, Santos refused to agree to those terms and the fight was scrapped.
I'm disgusted. Sapo fails to make weight then despite Askren offering a fight at 190lbs, Sapo still refuses. Completely unprofessional #ONE— Victor Cui (@victoronefc) November 13, 2015
@MMAjunkieGeorge I don't know. I think that maybe Sapo is just scared to fight Askren— Victor Cui (@victoronefc) November 13, 2015
Santos called Askren a "p*ssy" in an interview with MMA Fighting on Thursday. He was not happy about Askren's provisions for the fight.
"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."
Askren, one of the top welterweights in the world and former Bellator champion, and Santos fought to a no contest in April when Askren accidentally poked Santos in the eye and Santos was unable to continue at 2:19 of the first round. Askren has said in interviews that he felt like Santos was looking for a way out of the bout. To that point, Santos was actually winning the first round, but beginning to fade.
ONE: Pride of Lions will move on with Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke taking on Yago Bryan in the main event.
Askren told MMA Fighting that ONE will pay him his fight purse despite the bout not happening.