ONE Championship’s Yang Jian Bing has died after attempting to cut weight for his upcoming fight against Geje Eustaquio.
Bing was scratched from the ONE Championship 35 event in Philippines on Thursday, December 10, after he failed to make weight. Later, his opponent Eustaquio shared an update on Facebook revealing that Bing had been rushed to the hospital due to possible dehydration.
“Sorry to let you know fellas that our fight tonight will not push through… my opponent didn’t make weight and he was rushed to the hospital due to dehydration and possible heat stroke…” Eustaquio wrote.
On Friday, December 11, ONE Championship officials announced that Bing had died. At the time, ONE Championship CEO Victor Cui posted a message on Facebook stating that Bing’s cause of death was still being investigated.
— ONE Championship (@ONEFCMMA) December 11, 2015
“There is nothing more profoundly tragic and sad than when a member of the ONE Championship family, current or past, passes away,” Cui wrote. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of Yang Jian Bing. We will work closely with the family and offer all the support they need in any way we can during this very difficult time. Yang passed away this afternoon. The cause of death is still being determined.”
“I want to thank all sports fans around the world for their concern, thoughts and prayers. At this time, we appreciate everyone respecting the Yang family’s privacy as they mourn the loss of their beloved son and brother,” Cui added.
The organization later released an official statement, but never once mentioned the MMA fighter’s weight cut. According to the release, Bing was hospitalized at the San Juan De Dios Hospital in Pasay, Philippines, after suddenly collapsing on Thursday morning. One Championship said Bing received the best care possible, but sadly passed away at 12:06 p.m. due to cardiopulmonary failure.
— Kenai Andrews (@KenaiAndrews) December 11, 2015
The release states that Bing competed in One Champion’s flyweight division and last fought on June 20, 2015. He was scheduled to compete in the ONE: Spirit of Champions in Manila on December 11; however, he never made it into the octagon.
Yang Jian Bing is just the latest athlete to succumb to the drastic measures fighters, boxers, and wrestlers take to make weight. John Gelber, an orthopedic surgeon who has studied the effects of weight cutting, told USA Today Sports that weight cutting is one of the top three problems in combat sports.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) December 11, 2015
“The top-3 problems in combat sports are PEDs (performance-enhancing drugs), concussions and weight cutting,” Gelber said on Friday. “Weight cutting hasn’t gotten the attention it needs.”
According to Gelber, the athletes will wear plastic suits and sit in saunas for hours leading up to the fight to ensure they meet their required weight. These practices, in addition to crash dieting, can make the athletes vulnerable to dehydration and other complications. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research reported that 39 percent of the 40 MMA fighters studied had “significant or serious dehydration” within 22 hours after the weigh-ins.
“Obviously, fighting is a big business,” Gelber said. “People want to see the champions fight. The problem is with the drastic weight cuts of 20 pounds at the last minute. The state sanctioning bodies and the sport in general needs to educate their athletes about how to cut weight safely There will always be weight cutting, but the athletes need to know that doing it incorrectly can not only endanger their health, but their performance.”
[Photo via Twitter]