The worst fears of British heavyweight contender Chi Lewis-Parry have been realised with the announcement that his ONE FC world title bout with Brandon Vera has been cancelled. He has been replaced by Taiwan’s Paul ‘Typhoon’ Cheng.
Earlier this week, highly rated British kickboxer and mixed martial artist, Chi Lewis-Parry, rocked the sport of MMA with a lengthy diatribe about Asia’s top promotion, ONE FC. He accused the Singapore based promotion of providing him with no help, and affording him no opportunities to publicize either the brand or himself. He heavily implied this was a consequence of bias towards Brandon Vera, who was an expensive asset they could neither see lose nor allow be overshadowed.
The explosive comments made in conversation with Andreas Georgiou on the War of The Words podcast were soon spread through MMA media and forums where they added to the discussion about fighter treatment in the industry following a raft of high-profile retirements and increasingly vocal concerns over pay and conditions.
Within 48 hours, Paul Cheng made a statement to the effect that he’d been ‘given his chance’ on social media. This tweet was quickly deleted, but Lewis-Parry was immediately suspicious and Cheng’s presence in Manila for ‘promotional reasons’ made him even more so. It turns out his concerns were far from misplaced as Cheng has now replaced him as Vera’s opponent. Lewis-Parry issued an understandably furious response via his Facebook account:
The ‘excuse’ which ‘Chopper’ claims they have made up is that neither he nor his manager submitted necessary medical documentation required for the fight to proceed. An accusation which the Englishman clear protests. ONE FC released this version of events via their CEO, Victor Cui:
Giving the benefit of doubt to both parties, if it is assumed that Cui’s statement is in any way accurate, the events surrounding the replacement, as observed by Lewis-Parry, are extraordinarily convenient for a fighter whose words recently caused the promotion embarrassment and put them under intense scrutiny.
The bout between Cheng and Vera is scheduled to take place this Friday in Manila.