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'Unprofessional' Ben Askren scratched Luis Santos’ cornea with eye poke


Luis Santos entered the ONE Championship cage on Friday to battle Ben Askren for the welterweight title, but the bout ended in a no-contest.

Santos impressed early in the fight, taking Askren down twice and almost getting the mount at one point, but ended up poked in the eye at 2:19 of the first round. The Brazilian was given five minutes to recover, but couldn’t continue.

"He scratched my cornea," Santos told "I won’t be able to train for three weeks."

According to Santos’ wife Carina Damm, Askren was unprofessional after poking "Sapo" in the right eye.

"The doctors were talking to ‘Sapo’ in the cage and Askren was all over it, trying to push him back to the fight," Damm told "He wanted ‘Sapo’ to return injured so he would have an advantage over him. That was his only chance, in my opinion. Ben Askren is unprofessional and everybody saw that.

"‘Sapo’ is in the hospital right now. He hurt his eye pretty bad, scratched his cornea, and they are doing some exams now," she continued. "He will need to use an eye patch, and will take some time to recover from this. I don’t know if they are doing to book the rematch or even punishing Askren for this unprofessional move. We will see what happens next."

"Sapo" said he can’t judge if Askren had the intention to poke him in the eye, but wants another shot at the champion. According to the welterweight contender, ONE Championship plans on booking the rematch for July.

"He’s not that big deal," Santos said. "I dominated him in the fight, in the takedowns. The belt is mine and he knows that. (My win) was just delayed."

"I don’t think Ben Askren would get past the first round," Damm agrees. "‘Sapo’ was going to finish him right there. He trained hard for it and is going to be the favorite in the rematch. Ben Askren was frustrated that his takedowns were not working."

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