BRANDON Vera felt for the family of fallen mixed martial artist Yang Jian Bing, who passed away on Friday afternoon due to reported complications on weight cutting for his fight in ONE Spirit of Champions later in the day.
Vera saw the tragedy as an example of how hard MMA fighters have been working in training.
“I hear everybody say, ‘Good luck on your game,’ pero itong trabaho na ‘to, hindi talaga game ‘to,” said Vera, who took a long pause before answering. “We bleed for you. We break bones, we have surgeries for you, and we put metal on our bodies.”
“That’s what we put into this sport: we give you our lives,” he added. “We give you our soul.”
Yang was supposed to face Filipino Geje Eustaquio in the undercard of the event, but the Chinese fighter didn’t even make the weigh-in on the eve of the fight as he was rushed to a hospital earlier.
“For his family, and his coaches, and his team, I’m sorry,” Vera said. “I hope that that never happens again.”
“I’m blessed that I at least got to meet him while he was here cutting weight,” added the Filipino-American star, who couldn’t help but be teary-eyed near the end of the post-match press conference after his heavyweight title conquest at the expense of Paul Cheng.
ONE CEO Victor Cui said they are still waiting for an official hospital report on the findings.
“Whatever anyone’s saying, I don’t understand where it’s coming from, because you can’t do an autopsy until next of kin comes in and approves it,” Cui said, adding they have been trying to get his family to Manila, although his parents have no passports.
“I don’t know what the lesson God is trying to teach by robbing the life so early of a twenty-one-year-old athlete,” Cui said. “I’m trying to make sense out of it.”
“The guy puts on a sweat suit, steps out of the door for a jog, and he falls over. So what could you do?”