Yang Jian Bing, a flyweight from China competing in Asia's ONE Championship MMA promotion, died Friday after suffering complications following a weight cut. He was 21 years old.
ONE Championship officials announced the news in a release. Luke Thomas of MMA Fighting was the first to report on Bing's passing. The cause of death was listed as cardiopulmonary failure.
ONE Championship CEO Victor Cui said in the statement:
There is nothing more profoundly tragic and sad than when a member of the ONE Championship family, current or past, passes away. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of Yang Jian Bing. We will work closely with the family and offer all the support they need in any way we can during this very difficult time. I want to thank all sports fans around the world for their concern, thoughts and prayers. At this time, we appreciate everyone respecting the Yang family's privacy as they mourn the loss of their beloved son and brother.
On Thursday, ONE announced that Bing's scheduled bout with Geje Eustaquio had been canceled "due to Yang's severe dehydration from attempting to make weight." ONE officials also noted in a statement at that time that Bing had "suspected heat stroke" and was "transported to the hospital where he is undergoing intensive rehydration treatment."
Sadly, this is not the first time that the practice of cutting weight—common across all combat sports but long decried by the medical community—has taken a life. In 2013, MMA fighter Leandro Souza collapsed after weighing in for an event in Brazil and later died from complications. It was later determined that Souza took diuretics sometime before his death, most likely as an attempt to facilitate his cut.
There was no immediate information on what, if anything, may have been found in Bing's system, what methods he had been using to cut weight or how much weight he had to cut to make the 125-pound flyweight limit. Most diuretics are banned by most combat sports sanctioning bodies across the world.
A native of Beijing, China, Bing had a 5-1-1 record as a professional fighter.