Former unified and undisputed ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon of the Philippines is in for one of the toughest challenges of his professional career in what he believes will be a ‘dangerous’ fight.
The 33-year-old Belingon, who is ranked the #1 contender to the ONE Bantamweight World Championship, will take on former UFC veteran and current #5-ranked bantamweight John “Hands of Stone” Lineker of Brazil in his next outing. The bout serves as the main event for ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX III, a previously-recorded event from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore, scheduled for global air this Friday, 13 November.
Belingon isn’t taking Lineker lightly by any means, and is aware of Lineker’s reputation as a finisher. “The Silencer” is heading into this bout cautiously, weighing Lineker’s strengths and weaknesses, while crafting a solid game plan with Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao.
“John Lineker is one of the toughest fighters I will ever face. He’s not an opponent to be taken lightly. He’s got a lot of experience, and a lot of power in his hands, which is why he is known to end fights early,” said Belingon.
“We have watched his previous fights and we’re confident we can come up with the right game plan for whatever he brings to the table. I have to win this fight to prove that I deserve to stay as the number one contender.”
The Belingon-Lineker showdown will no doubt be a crowd-pleasing and exciting one, given the way the two fighters rarely leave anything inside the cage in their fights. Both martial artists hover above a 40% knockout finish ratio in their wins, and appear equally matched on the ground.
Belingon says he’s not underestimating Lineker at all, but that fans can surely expect this match to end early.
“You all know how I fight, I fight moving forward. So this is going to be a very exciting matchup. I don’t think this is going the distance, with the way we both attack. I want to put on a good show for the fans,” said Belingon.
“I’ve prepared the same way, just like I have prepared for my previous fights. I never underestimate any of my opponents. That’s not a good thing to do inside the Circle. Every fight is dangerous.”
ONE Championship returns with ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX III, a previously-recorded event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore for global broadcast this Friday night, 13 November. Belingon and Lineker compete in the main event, but the Team Lakay veteran will be joined by his teammates Geje Eustaquio and Lito Adiwang who will be competing on the same card
Belingon remains confident ahead of this matchup, and believes a victory will put him in a good position for another crack at the title. He’s spent the past few months honing his skills in Baguio City, despite national lockdowns due to Covid-19, and even saw the birth of his daughter, Kelsey, just this past August.
“The Silencer” says he is motivated to succeed now more than ever.
“I’m ecstatic to compete, because it’s already been a year since my last fight. The situation we are in right now has truly affected everyone in the industry. Every fighter, including myself, has had to slow things down a little bit and stay isolated in quarantine so we don’t contract the virus,” said Belingon.
“The birth of my daughter has really added extra motivation for me to succeed. I am fighting to give my family a better life, and that’s a powerful thing.”
Watch the event this Friday, 13 November on One Sports+ at 8:30 p.m. Philippine Standard Time (PHT). One Sports will air the event on a same-day delay at 9 p.m. PHT. Additionally, TV5 will air the event on a next-day delay at 11 p.m. PHT.