The year 2018 has been an outstanding year for ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon.
Hailed as the “2018 Warrior Of The Year” by ONE Championship, the 31-year-old Filipino spitfire started his 2018 campaign as a determined athlete who was hungry for his second chance at the title.
Belingon kicked off the year with a second-round stoppage victory over perennial contender Andrew Leone of the United States n the main event of ONE: HEROES OF HONOR this past April.
The “The Silencer” carried over his momentum into his next bouts this 2018, scoring a five-round drubbing of Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen at ONE: REIGN OF KINGS in July to capture the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship.
Following his dominant win over Nguyen, he ended the near-five year reign of Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes to successfully unify the bantamweight titles in their rematch at ONE: HEART OF THE LION last November.
With the latest cage meeting with Fernandes being a close one, Belingon stressed that he is more than willing to give his arch-nemesis a shot at his gold-plated strap.
“We are tied at one win apiece, so a third bout to determine the true winner does make sense. I know he is clamoring for a rematch,” he stated. “I know he thinks he won the last one, so deep inside, I want to prove to him again that I beat him.”
Belingon knows all too well that aside from Fernandes, a horde of battle-tested martial artists are also coming for his intricately-crafted hardware, including Dae Hwan Kim and Muin Gafurov.
“I’m just enjoying the time off right now. But of course, I’m open to fighting Bibiano again, or anyone that ONE Championship puts in front of me,” he affirmed.
“As the champion of my division, I am willing to give any challenger a shot at my belt. If they want it, come and get it.”
However, if Belingon will be given the option to choose an opponent, a rubber match against Fernandes is clearly the obvious choice for the Baguio City-based knockout artist.
“Our second bout was an exciting match,” he quipped. “We can do it again. The fans will love it.”