Both Ben “Funky” Askren and Angela “Unstoppable” Lee successfully defended their respective titles as ONE Welterweight World Champion and ONE Atomweight World Champion at “ONE Championship: Dynasty of Heroes” on May 26 in Kallang, Singapore. Looking for a new challenger, the former called out one of the world champions of ONE in a post-fight interview.
“We got this guy Vitaly Bigdash,” Askren said referring to the reigning ONE Middleweight World Champion. “He agreed to fight me, then he decided, ‘Well, that’s going to be a bad idea.’ And he decided he didn’t want to do that anymore.”
Bigdash was supposed to drop down from middleweight to welterweight to challenge Askren in 2016 in Thailand but the fight was postponed because of the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Eventually, Bigdash changed his mind and backed out from the fight. Afterwards, it was Agilan “Alligator” Thani who agreed to challenge Askren.
“Now, Agilan saw an opportunity,” Asken added. “He took his opportunity. Bigdash, he ran around like a chicken, ‘Bawk, bawk, bawk, bawk, bawk.’ So here’s the deal. Bigdash, I need a dance partner on August 18, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
“I hope you’re going to come out and see me,” Askren continued calling out Bigdash. “And Bigdash, if you decide you’re busy and want to cluck around like a chicken some more, then I’ll take the Swedish man.”
The Swedish man Askren was referring to was Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam, who made his ONE debut at “ONE Championship: Dynasty of Heroes” and defeated Luis “Sapo” Santos in the welterweight division. Santos lost to Kadestam via knockout in Round 3.
In 2015, Santos fought Askren but it ended in no contest due to an eye poke. Santos went on to defeat Rafael Silva and Igor Svirid before losing to Kadestam.
Currently, both Askren and Bigdash are undefeated, the former with 16 wins and the latter with 9 wins. On the other hand, Kadestam now has a record of 9 wins and 3 losses.