MANILA • Mixed martial arts fighter Yang Jian Bing of China died after collapsing from severe dehydration in his attempt to make the weight for a flyweight bout in the Philippine capital.
Organiser One Championship said that the 21-year-old had been pronounced dead at a Manila hospital from cardiopulmonary failure on Friday, hours before the scheduled fight.
"Yang, a native of China was hospitalised at the San Juan De Dios Hospital... after a sudden collapse," said a statement on the organisers' website.
The statement did not say what caused the collapse of Yang, who last fought in June.
On Friday, One Championship had said in a separate statement that Yang's fight with Filipino Geje Eustaquio "has been cancelled due to Yang's severe dehydration from attempting to make weight".
It said the Chinese fighter was suspected to have suffered from "dehydration and suspected heat stroke" and had been taken to hospital to undergo "intensive rehydration treatment".
Loren Mack, a spokesman for One Championship, yesterday referred questions put to him by AFP to the statement on the website.
A one-minute silence was held at the venue on Friday to honour the Chinese fighter, Mack said.
The One Championship website home page was partly blacked out with a one-line announcement: "In Loving Memory of Yang Jian Bing (1994-2015)."
One Championship chief executive Victor Cui said on the website: "There is nothing more profoundly tragic and sad than when a member of the One Championship family, current or past, passes away.
"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."
In the last message posted on his Weibo social media site on Nov 30, Yang had been upbeat about the fight. "I'm excited, I have been struggling for so long and I'm finally able to participate in One FC, the Asian top competition," the Chinese fighter wrote.
"I have been waiting for this opportunity for so many years! Please grant me power, make me really feel the passion of this competition."
Based in Singapore, One Championship maintains a stable of fighters signed to exclusive contracts for fights broadcast on cable television.