MANILA -- Since losing to Bibiano Fernandes in 2016, current ONE bantamweight Kevin Belingon has never tasted defeat.
And he doesn’t plan to lose when they meet for the third time, this time in Japan.
“I feel as confident now as I have ever been. Heading into my next bout, a trilogy bout against Bibiano, this is super important. I have to be at my best in this next bout,” said Belingon.
In their first encounter, “The Silencer” failed in his bid to capture gold as he was forced to tap in the first round via Kimura. Belingon refused to accept his fate, so he began the long journey back to the top by winning six straight bouts against the promotion’s top contenders.
Belingon’s streak earned him another chance to meet Fernandes in a rematch last November, and this time, his hard work proved enough for him to be crowned the undisputed ONE bantamweight champion by a razor-thin margin.
“It feels good to be on such a nice little win streak. It just goes to show that my hard work and long hours at the gym is paying off. That’s all we really want out of training, is for the hard work to show,” Belingon said.
Belingon and Fernandes will meet for the third time at the Ryōgoku Kokugikan on March 31 at ONE: A New Era in a rubber match for Belingon’s bantamweight strap.
Belingon said he is not taking this trilogy bout lightly as he clearly recalls how Fernandes gave him one of the most unforgettable 25 minutes of his life. This made Belingon respect and acknowledge his opponent even more.
“I have all the respect in the world for Bibiano,” Belingon said.
However, he is confident he can defend his title successfully. This is the result of hard work and sacrifice for the past three years.
But “The Silencer” knows all too well that this match will be the toughest of all their encounters.
“Everything that I got, I had to work hard for,” Belingon said.
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