• Ben Askren makes weight for title defense against Luis Santos

Ben Askren makes weight for title defense against Luis Santos (Photo : Gerry Kiko Aguello)

ONE Championship made a successful return to Singapore, Friday, November 13, with another evening of world-class mixed martial arts action.

ONE: Pride of Lions rocked the Singapore Indoor Stadium with spectacular finishes, featuring the absolute best in local and international talent.

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In the main event, ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke retained his title with a unanimous decision victory over the challenger, Yago Bryan of Brazil.

Dejdamrong defeated Bryan by unanimous decision to retain his title.

Both fighters traded shots in furious exchanges, with Dejdamrong choosing to tag Bryan continuously with high and low kicks, while Bryan opted to counter with left hooks.

A minor cut opened up above Dejdamrong's right eye in round one, but was quickly patched up by his corner.

Much of the same action continued throughout the bout, but it was the champion who was the busier fighter down the stretch, earning the judges' nod.

Bryan did his best to counter 'Kru Rong's muay thai with left and right hooks, but most fell short by the wayside. From the third round onward, Bryan's punch output decreased dramatically and the busier Dejdamrong began to shine.

By the end of the fight, Dejdamrong had done just enough to convince all three judges that he was the victory. Bryan climbed atop the cage in celebration, thinking he had won the match but it was simply for naught.

Weighty issues

The Dejdamrong-Bryan bout replaced the highly-anticipated rematch between ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben Askren and challenger Luis Santos after Santos failed to make the 170-lb. welterweight limit.

Santos stepped onto the scales two pounds over at 172 in the morning of the weigh-ins and was given a few hours to cut weight to make 170. When the fighter refused, Askren gave in and had re-negotiated a second weigh-in wherein the fight would push through if Santos would not balloon past 190-lbs.

Santos, who everyone saw gorging on food at the breakfast buffet, weighed-in at 194 pounds, four pounds over the 190 limit Askren set. At the time, Santos had ballooned up to 22 pounds from the previous night.

"I can't say what's going on in his head but there's something wrong with that guy," said Askren, when asked what he thought Santos was going through mentally in preparation for the weigh-ins.

ONE CEO Victor Cui called Santos 'scared' and that it was the only explanation of Santos' actions although he has not yet said if he plans to cut Santos or if they plan to give him another chance at Askren.