The highly-anticipated three-round featherweight bout between mixed martial arts prospects Keanu Subba (3-1) of Malaysia, and Christian Lee (2-0) of Singapore will have to be put on hold at the moment.
Subba suffered an unfortunate injury during training yesterday, February 25, at Bali Muay Thai & MMA in Indonesia.
“We had big gloves on for some hard MMA sparring. My [sparring] partner went for a takedown from the back as I was standing and I fell trying to plant my hand on the floor,” said Subba, disheartened by the latest setback.
“My glove got stuck between the wall mat and the floor and [my elbow] got dislocated. The doctor said I’ll be out for a couple of months.”
Subba and Lee were scheduled to do battle at ONE: UNION OF WARRIORS which takes place roughly three weeks from now on March 18 at the Thuwanna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.
The official classification of the injury is torn ligaments and a dislocation in the right elbow joint. Subba is expected to miss time.
ONE Championship officials are currently scouting a replacement for Subba on three weeks’ notice, although no news is available yet on who will take his spot.
“It’s devastating,” said Subba. “I invested a lot of money and time in this camp. I felt sharp. Everything was going so well until this happened.”
Two of the most highly-regarded prospects in ONE Championship, both Subba and Lee are on a collision course and will most likely meet each other at the center of the ONE Cage at some point.
The 21-year old Subba is a former amateur MMA champion, while Lee is a former Pankration world champion. The fight would have pit two rising stars against each other early in their careers, which is a rare occurrence in the world of combat sports.
For now, it seems the matchup will be shelved at the moment as Subba recovers from injury. Assuming Lee gets past whoever his opponent will be on March 18, the bout against Subba will most likely be revisited.
“Of course I would still like to fight Christian [Lee] in the future,” said Subba. “I’ve never felt more motivated to fight someone.”
“I’m sorry to all my family, friends and fans for not being able to fight March 18th. I’ll come back from this setback stronger than ever,” Subba added.
Subba is the former Malaysian Invasion Mixed Martial Arts (MIMMA) amateur featherweight champion.
MIMMA was created by Tune Talk with the aim of developing amateur MMA talent at the grassroots level in Malaysia. Subba became a big part of that organization.
After a successful amateur career, Subba then turned professional in 2011, dropping a unanimous decision loss to AJ Lias Mansor but has since then strung together three straight which includes a submission win and two consecutive technical knockouts.
In his last bout, Subba trounced fellow Malaysian Rayner Kinsiong with a volley of vicious strikes to force the stoppage. Lee also came out victorious on the same fight card, setting the stage for their would-be epic match-up. – By Carlos Cinco
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