Tang Kai will not be defending his featherweight title at ONE Fight Night 12. The Chinese fighter announced on Weibo earlier today that he had injured his knee and would not be able to compete on July 14th.
Kai was booked to make the first defence of the belt he won last August. The Chinese fighter received a hero’s welcome in his homeland after defeating Than Le at ONE 160.
He had been set to face the same opponent in a rematch. But that fight will have to be postponed as Kai has injured his knee during training:
Tang Kai announces on Weibo that he’s injured his knee and out of his fight with Thanh Le on July 14th. pic.twitter.com/nC0PHR2rQl
— Chris Presnell (@mmaecosystem) May 23, 2023
Chopping and changing
It remains to be seen whether ONE Championship will be able to find an alternative opponent for Le. He has also been out of action since the grueling five round war with Kai last August.
ONE Championship will definitely have to do some chopping and changing because the card, which is set for Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok, has already lost one title fight. Arjan Bhullar and Anatoly Malykhin had set to face off in their long awaited title unification bout in the headliner.
But having been postponed on multiple occasions that fight has now been moved forwards. The two heavyweights will now face off at ONE Friday Fights 22 which is set for the same venue next month.
A bantamweight bout between Yuya Wakamatsu and Xie Wei remains on the ONE Fight Night 12 card. Both men will be looking to bounce back from recent defeats.
Wakamatsu (15-6) is coming off back to back losses and was submitted by Adriano Moraes in the third round of a flyweight title fight at ONE: ‘X’ last year. Wei saw his three fight winning streak snapped by Reece McLaren at ONE 158.