Pradip Subramanian, who faced Steven Lim in a Muay Thai match at the Asia Fighting Championship (AFC) died yesterday, 23 September shortly after the fight.

Veteran bodybuilder and World Bodybuilding & Physique Sports Federation (WBPF) President Pradip Subramanian, 32, was pronounced dead around 9pm at the Singapore General Hospital due to a cardiac arrest, an hour following the technical knockout at AFC.

No background checks were reportedly made as to whether AFC ensured their celebrity fighters’ competency in Muay Thai, which has spurred much controversy on Steven Lim’s and AFC’s Facebook pages.

According to regulation standards at AFC, it is understood that all fighters, including “celebrity fighters” Lim and Pradip, only went through a medical check-up and signed a declaration form acknowledging the risks involved.

Subramanian was a short-notice replacement for Sylvester Sim, a Singapore Idol contestant and original competitor against the match against Steven Lim. Sim pulled out just a day before the scheduled match due to “insufficient insurance coverage”.

Netizens all over social media are labelling Singapore’s YouTube entertainer Steven Lim as “murderer” following Subramanian’s death.

Steven Lim has expressed his condolences to Subramanian on his Facebook page, calling him a “hero”.

Dawn Teo, 22, student and spectator said: “They are both untrained [in Muay Thai] which I think is completely ridiculous.”

Teo said: “Two people can be completely healthy, but if you don’t actually know where you are hitting or landing your punches, who knows what happens to the internal body in real time – your nerves, bodily reactions, lungs, etc.”

The President of Amateur Muay Thai Association of Singapore (AMAS), Mervyn Tan, said in a previous Straits Times article that amateurs in Muay Thai like Subramanian should be wearing full protective gear when participating in the contact sport.

“There are three divisions in competitions – amateurs wearing full protective gear, semi-pros wearing partial protective gear and professionals fighting without protective gear,” said Tan. “It is extremely crucial for trainers to adhere to proper safety protocols.”

Sean Pillay, 34, a full-time personal fitness trainer said: “It’s not about whether they were trained in Muay Thai but whether they were of good physical conditions to enter the ring. I believe stricter checks on health and fitness, especially cardiovascular health need to be done before we lose yet another athlete.”

“Towards the end, both Pradip and Steven Lim looked like they were both suffering rather than enjoying match, and that was when they should have ended the match earlier. They were putting their lives on the line for the sake of entertainment.”

Pillay, who was acquainted with Pradip Subramanian about a year ago from the fitness industry, said he was always pushing the bodybuilding in Singapore to new heights.

“What Pradip was doing to push bodybuilding was very rare in Singapore in recent years. Pradip was a visionary that was trying to bring the sport places, it’s sad to see him go when he had such a heart for the bodybuilding and fitness community.”

According to TODAY, the police is currently investigating Subramanian’s death.

Pradip Subramanian’s family is holding a wake for him from 24 September, Sunday at Woodlands Street 81.

Cover Photo: AFC Singapore Facebook

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