Former UFC fighter Brandon Vera will now square off against Paul Cheng for the vacant ONE Championship heavyweight belt this Friday, the promotion announced.
Cheng replaces Chi Lewis Parry, who ONE states did not provide his medicals in time for the fight to be made official.
“After multiple requests made by ONE Officials directly to Chi Lewis Parry and his Manager over the last few weeks, Chi has failed to submit his medical results and his drug tests for the fight this Friday. Additionally, he decided not to board the plane departing from London to Manila. He will not be fighting this Friday,” ONE CEO Victor Cui wrote on Facebook. “The next top heavyweight contender, Paul Cheng will be stepping in for the World Championship fight against Brandon Vera. Can China claim its first ever Heavyweight World Champion or will the hometown hero make it a storybook win for Filipinos?”
The trash talk between Vera and Parry was hot-and-heavy in the months leading up to the fight, and as you might expect, Vera had plenty to say after the change.
“This shit just happened Chi Lewis-Parry is officially a (expletive)!!!!,” Vera wrote on Facebook. “Thank you Paul Cheng for being a MAN and stepping up!”
Parry has been making updates on social media in the days leading up to the announcement, almost foreshadowing the change happening.
And here’s Vera’s response to Parry: