Kyrgyz fighter Tilek Batyrov of Fight Club Jash-Kuch gym will replace elite wrestler Andrew Leone in the main event of ONE: Heroes of the World slated on August 13 at the Cotai Arena in Macau.
With less than a week before the fight night, Leone withdrew as the main contender against flyweight champion Adriano Moraes after suffering an injury during training.
“I won’t be competing this upcoming weekend in Macau. Huge sorry to everyone,” said Leone in a statement.
Leone said his legs went numb after he jacked his back in last week’s sparring. He was diagnosed with a bulging disk in his spine (between the L4 and L5), which is compressing a nerve.
“I don’t want to further compress the nerve and cause complete blockage which would likely require surgery,” added Leone.
The condition requires six to 12 weeks of therapy to reduce the pain and numbness according to his neurologist.
On the other hand, the 24-year old Batyrov is a flyweight prospect with a stellar 10-1 professional mixed martial arts win-loss record.
He is a former two-time combat sambo world champion and former Alash Pride Grand Prix Champion.
Meanwhile, Team Lakay bet Eduard “Landslide” Foloyang will lead three other Filipinos – Honorio “The Rock” Banario, Joshua Pacio and Jimmy Yabo who will also see action in the tourney.
The Baguio City native Foloyang will test his prowess against Adrian “The Hunter” Pang of Australia in the co-main event.
Foloyang owns a 15-5 record while Pang has a 22-8-2 card.