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Ugly ending in One Championship: Valor of Champions as Askren-Santos match declared no contest

Ben Askren. One Championship (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--Despite a PBA Finals game ongoing on a Friday night, fans still flocked the Mall of Asia Arena in anticipation of the main event of the One Championship: Valor of Champions fight card, the welterweight title match between Ben Askren and Luis Santos.

The crowd left in dismay after the result.

The championship match between Askren and Santos ended in a sour way as Referee Olivier Coste declared the bout a no contest after an accident late in the first round.

With 2:20 left in Round 1, Askren appeared to have accidentally poked Santos' right eye while going for a 1-2 combination.

After Santos' camp and the cageside physicians found him struggling to get back to the match after feeling much pain in his eye, Coste made the no-contest rule after the allotted injury recovery time.

With the result, Askren retains the title, but a rematch will be likely soon.

The ugly finish tainted what was an entertaining fight card with all but two of the undercards ending in stoppages.