Coronavirus: Main bout for Friday’s One: Big Bang event replaced after fighter is withdrawn on safety grounds

Coronavirus: Main bout for Friday’s One: Big Bang event replaced after fighter is withdrawn on safety grounds

SINGAPORE – The One Championship light heavyweight kickboxing title bout between world champion Roman Kryklia and Murat Aygun at One: Big Bang at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday (Dec 4) evening has been called off, as Kryklia has withdrawn due to Covid-19 safety protocols.

As a result, the main event will be replaced by a featherweight kickboxing fight between Marat Grigorian and Ivan Kondratev. Aygun remains on the card to face Anderson Silva in a light heavyweight kickboxing match.

Meanwhile, Greco-Roman wrestling world champion Amir Aliakbari will not be making his One debut after he pulled out of his heavyweight mixed martial arts bout against Abdulbasir Vagabov for similar reasons.

In a statement on Friday afternoon, One said: “Kryklia tested negative for Covid-19. However, he is under quarantine after coming into close contact with an individual who tested positive on Nov 27.

“While Aliakbari tested positive for Covid-19 prior to his fight, serological tests showed that this was due to a past infection. He has been discharged from hospital but will not participate in tonight’s event as an added precaution.

“Both Aliakbari and Kryklia tested negative for Covid-19 prior to flying into Singapore.”

An atomweight bout between Jihin Radzuan and Bi Nguyen and a featherweight kickboxing clash between Andy Souwer and Zhang Chunyu have also been added to the card.

On Monday, One and the Singapore Tourism Board issued a statement to announce that Big Bang would proceed as scheduled despite a cornerman of one of the athletes – believed to be Kryklia – testing positive for Covid-19.

The cornerman, who tested negative before his departure from Belarus, had tested positive upon arrival here on Nov 27. He was sent to a hospital and is currently undergoing treatment.

“Public health and safety remain our top priority,” said One and STB. “This case was detected through the screening protocols and stringent measures that were put in place to safeguard the health of our local community as well as the athletes and production crew.”

Protocols for the upcoming live event, which can have up to 250 fans in attendance, include the requirement for all foreign-based athletes, cornermen and staff to be isolated until they receive a negative test result, after which they will follow a strictly controlled itinerary that has been pre-approved. Spectators have to undergo antigen rapid testing on the day of the event too.

Foreign-based athletes and One’s production crew are also required to be tested four times – before they depart their country, on arrival in Singapore, as well as before and after their fight.

There were two positive cases detected ahead of One’s Inside the Matrix event on Oct 30, which was also the first live sports event in Singapore since the pandemic to feature spectators. It welcomed 250 fans.

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These two cases involving cornermen from the United States and Russia were determined to be past infections after serological tests were conducted.

On the night of the Inside The Matrix show, STB and One announced the pair had recovered but were kept out of the event as a precautionary measure.