ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon is just a month away from proving to the forever-expanding mixed martial arts world that he is the rightful owner of the 65.8-kilogram weight class’ throne.
Almost three years after his heartbreaking loss, the 30-year-old Baguio city native will finally get his hands on ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano Fernandes as both men are scheduled to face other once again in a title unification bout at ONE: HEART OF THE LION on 9 November at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
“I am super excited. Finally, the long wait is over, and now I’m fighting Bibiano Fernandes for the undisputed bantamweight title. This moment has been all that I have looked forward to,” Belingon admitted.
Ther cage meeting in Singapore is a rematch of their 2016 encounter for the coveted bantamweight crown in Changsha, China, where Belingon was forced to tap by Fernandes with a wrenching Kimura lock in the first round.
The loss has become a motivating force for Belingon to become a more well-rounded competitor in mixed martial arts.
Famous for his relentless style and tremendous punching power, Belingon has beaten the big names of his division, piling up six-straight impressive victories, which include a dominating performance against two-division kingpin Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen last July to capture the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship.
“Every opponent, every challenge that I have faced since then, has brought me here,” Belingon said. “This is what I have worked extremely hard for.”
Belingon issued a stern warning to his Brazilian rival that he will be dealing with a completely different martial artist in the co-main event of ONE: HEART OF THE LION, which is headlined by a women’s strawweight championship clash between “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan and Angela “Unstoppable” Lee.
“Bibiano has been on my mind for more than two years now. I have upgraded my skills where necessary. This time around, things will be different. I am a completely different fighter. I know the mistakes I made in the first bout. This is my chance to erase that memory,” he stated.
Armed with the support of the Filipino fans, Belingon believes that his second meeting with Fernandes on 9 November will be a career-defining bout for him.
“The Filipino fans have wanted this for so long, and it makes me happy that I can now give this to them. I am grateful for every Filipino who shows their support. I am doing this for myself, and for the honor of my country. I will not leave anything to chance,” he expressed.
With another opportunity to showcase his maturity as a competitor, Belingon hopes to join Team Lakay comrade Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio as one of the few athletes under the promotion’s banner that accomplished the feat of unifying two world titles to become an undisputed champion.
“I know that nothing will get easier, and I have to work twice as hard to prepare for the biggest bout of my life,” he ended.