Kevin Belingon knows what at stake when he takes on Brazilian foe Bibiano Fernandes in a much awaited rematch in ONE: A New Era on March 31.
Aside from defending his ONE bantamweight title, he will have to raise the flag of Team lakay, which has suffered back-to-back setbacks with the title defeats of former ONE strawweight champion Joshua Pacio and former ONE flyweight king Geje Eustaquio.
“There’s a lot of pressure for the team this 2019,” Belingon said. “We just lost two belts this year, so it is up to us (Eduard Folayang) to relieve some of that pressure.”
Folayang will defend his title against Japanese grappling legend Shinya Aoki.
“Me and kuya Edward are determined to defend our world titles so that we can go back home as champions,” Belingon said. “We are going to do this for Team Lakay and the Philippines.”
It will be easier said than done, as Belingon faces a hungry former titleholder in Fernandes, who is intent on getting the title back.
The Baguio City native will reserve his prediction for the contest, but mentioned that he will avoid committing the same mistakes he and his team made in the past, even in his title-winning performance last November.
"Bibiano Fernandes is the toughest opponent of my career, and surely I am the same for him. I don't expect this third fight to be easy, that is why I am preparing hard in training,” said Belingon.
“I will try my best. I can't predict how the fight will go, but I will try to finish it this time.”
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