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ONE VP Franklin debunks Lewis-Parry’s allegations

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British heavyweight Chi Lewis-Parry has been the center of controversy over the past few days, as he did not even board his plane to Manila for ONE Spirit of Champions.

After months of bad blood, the bout for the inaugural ONE World Heavyweight Championship was changed to Filipino-American Brandon Vera facing Taiwanese-Canadian Paul Cheng days before the card had been set to take place. In a Facebook post by Lewis-Parry, Chi said that officials from ONE Championship were not responding to his calls.

From Chi Lewis-Parry’s Facebook Page


Dear world. As I forewarned, One Championship have ripped my shot from my grasp. They pretended Paul Cheng was travelling to Manila JUST for media obligations and lied to EVERY SINGLE FAN! Now they have made up their excuse (which has taken them days to form) and are blaming me with bogus accusations. It’s disgusting that an organisation claiming to be one of the top competitors in the world are happy to pull stunts like this. REMEMBER, I CALLED THIS DAYS AGO! One failed to respond with the truth now they blame me. Legal action is to follow and the exploitation and misrepresentation of fighter/athletes will STOP @ One Championship for good! I’m sorry for the fans that have been lied to by Victor Cui and One.


Brandon Vera did not take to kindly to this, posting an expletive-laden rant on Youtube. Moreover, Vera did not further comment about the matter during the weigh-ins, saying, “I won’t answer any questions about him. He’s a coward!”

ONE Championship Vice President and MMA legend Rich “Ace” Franklin debunked all of the British fighter’s claims in a long Facebook post.


STATEMENT BY ONE VP Rich Franklin

I was looking forward to the Brandon Vera v. Chi Lewis Parry fight this week as much as every other fan. It is unfortunate to see this scenario unravel, and while I have seen many situations like this during my career, it is still baffling to me. Chi believes the organization has it out for him. If you think about this logically, ONE spent a tremendous amount of money marketing a fight between Brandon and Chi…only to remove Chi at the last minute??? This makes no sense.

Since Chi is attacking ONE’s integrity, I decided to personally dig into this myself.

Chi wrote on his social media that ONE had not booked his flight to Manila for the press conference in October or for the fight in Manila. I am not sure which he is referring to when he replied “NOPE”, ONE has a copy of the paperwork and official e-ticket booked for the press conference by our PR team provided as well as the fight week ticket.

In Chi’s post, he claimed that a company representative told him not to board the plane for Manila this week. Unfortunately, it is another falsehood told by Chi or his management. Again, it makes zero sense for ONE to spend significant sums of money on marketing a fight only to pull it.

I have also spoken with our athlete services department about Chi’s medical and drug tests. There’s a detailed email timeline of the correspondence with Chi’s management as part of ONE’s records and recorded documentation of correspondence that began November 26th, with Chi’s manager ultimately giving assurance on December 2nd that Chi would complete testing before arriving in Manila…along with confirming his shorts color and entrance song. Last week, Our VP of Competition, Matt Hume, was concerned enough about the situation that he asked Paul Cheng to come to Manila to do media and act as a last minute replacement in the event Chi did not submit medicals. As it turns out, Matt Hume’s decision to have a backup plan for our main event was the correct one.

Finally I spoke to GAB (Games And Amusements Board), the governing body in the Philippines, in the event Chi sent his testing directly to them, and they had not received the proper testing either. It is clear that Chi did not provide the items he claims he has, and I welcome him to show us proof rather than accusations.

On December 7th, our Athlete Services reached out to Chi’s manager via text at the time Chi should have been at the airport boarding for Manila…enquiring of Chi’s whereabouts. No reply was given.

No trash talk…just facts. We were taken by surprise that Chi did not board his flight, as Matt Hume and I were looking forward to meeting him upon his arrival.


Moreover, ONE Championship Public Relations Officer Tammy Chan Mun Yi told Tiebreaker Times that she has the receipts backing all the records of transactions made with Chi Lewis-Parry.

With Paul “Typhoon” Cheng stepping up and saving the main event of ONE Championship’s year-end show, ONE Spirit of Champions has the main event that mixed martial arts fans deserve to see.

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