Steven Lim’s Fight: 11 Facts About the AFC Match That Resulted in a Tragedy


Just two days ago, the AFC match between Steven Lim and Sylvester Sim, who later pulled out due to insurance issues and was replaced by the president of World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Federation Pradip Subramanian, was often seen as a publicity stunt.

However, just hours ago, it took a turn as reports on the demise of Mr Pradip Subramanian shook Singapore, even Steven Lim himself.

Here are ten facts about the AFC Match and the tragedy that follows.

AFC Match: What is it all about?

Image: Facebook (Asia Fighting Championship)

Here’s the introduction of the whole event for the uninitiated.

In recent years, Mixed Martial Arts has garnered more interest in the region, in particular Muay Thai. Also known as Thai boxing, there’s a  professional league handled by the Professional Boxing Association of Thailand (P.A.T) which is sanctioned by The Sport Authority of Thailand (S.A.T.), and on the international ground, by World Muaythai Federation (WMF).

Fighters are trained and conditioned intensely, and even “harden” their bone by hitting a dense heavy bag with their shin regularly.

The Asia Fighting Championship is an inaugural event that brings professional Muay Thai fighers from around the region to compete.

In other words, just think of it as a one-day soccer tournament for professional soccer teams from all over the world to join.

Where does Steven Lim’s fight come into the picture?


Remember the fact that it’s an event for professionals?

The fight between Steven Lim and initially Sylvester Sim is supposed to be a “celebrity fight-off”: a fight meant to drum up publicity for the event.

It’s like celebrity soccer matches whereby public figures are invited to join the game.

This works very well: media outlets reported on this celebrity fight extensively: a video made by Today about the fight garnered over 359K views and well over 2.9K Shares.

And according to Today, both of them have then started Muay Thai training in preparation for the fight.

A Sudden Change One Day Before the Event

A day before the fight, Sylvester Sim has to pull out from the fight due to an insurance issue. It wasn’t elaborated more on why and when this suddenly change was made: it was then revealed that Pradip Subramanian, the president of World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Federation, would be taking over Sylvester Sim.

Pradip Subramanian , the New Fighter

According to, this would be his first Muay Thai fight and he used to box during his younger days.


The president and director of World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Federation Pradip, who apparently is a fitness consultant and would be opening his own gym soon, is 32 years old and weighs 99 kg.

According to Pradip’s cousin, the bodybuilder had taken up fighting about “three to five months ago”.

What Happened in the Ring

STOMP staff was in the event and did a Facebook live broadcast of the fight.

As you could be able to see, at the end of the fight, Pradip was seen in a daze after the fight and the winner turned out to be Steven Lim.


Here’s the fight from another angle.

How did Steven Lim Win?

Apparently, Steven Lim won by a technical knockout, in which the fight is stopped by the referee if one fighter “cannot safely continue the match for any reason, without the need for an intervening count.”

According to Wikipedia though, in “most regions, a TKO is declared when a fighter is knocked down three times in one round. Other reasons for stopping a fight include severe facial lacerations and a fighter’s inability to put up a sufficient defense following a knockdown.”

Then the tragedy: Pradip was sent to the hospital after the fight

Immediately after the fight, Pradip was sent to Singapore General Hospital. By then, Steven Lim has posted about his victory and spoke about the ambulance.


Out of respect, Steven Lim has removed that post and updated it with this instead.

Image: Facebook (Steven Lim)

Pradip Passed Away at 9:00 p.m.

The fight had ended at around 8:30 p.m. According to the statement by AFC, Pradip passed away at 9:00 p.m.

At this current moment, it is still unclear what caused the demise. AFC has advised the public to refrain from any speculation, and that they would hold a press conference or a statement about this “in due course”.

What Happened During the Fight, According to an Audience Member

In the first round, Pradip appeared to have a stronger start, but Steven Lim managed to land more punches in the second round.

Then there was a slight push by Steven Lim that led to a soft fall by Pradip.

Other than that, everything seemed normal to him, though he noticed that Pradip was panting hard and looking down.


Steven Lim’s Responses

According to Today, Steven Lim has this to say: “I feel very sad — at first it’s an occasion to celebrate, but after the news, I feel devastated.”

Over in his Facebook Page, which he usually share about his life, his latest post is this.

Image: Facebook (Steven Lim)

AFC’s Response

AFC has since issued a statement about this. Here’s it in full:

We are deeply saddened to share the news that Mr Pradip Subramanian, Exhibition Match-Up fighter and President of the World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Federation of Singapore (WBPF) has passed away at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) on 23rd September 2017 at 21:00 hrs. 

“We are in close contact with the medical staff at the hospital to ascertain the cause of death and request that during this difficult time we should come together and extend our support to Mr Subramanian’s family, friends and associates and refrain from any speculation.

An official press conference/statement will be held in due course.

Mr Subramanian’s project, the AFC Physique Championships (APC), which is scheduled for 24th September 2017, will be cancelled as a mark of respect.

As usual, let’s refrain from any speculation and wait for further statements.


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