(UPDATED) Kevin Belingon lost his ONE bantamweight title in his rubber match against Bibiano Fernandes in one of the co-main events of ONE: A New Era.
The “Silencer” was forced to surrender his title in a controversial manner after he was disqualified in their 5-rounder at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.
The fight was actually halted in the third round when Belingon landed several elbows to the back of Fernandes’ head. The referee flashed the red card which meant Belingon’s disqualification.
Fernandes was attacking Belingon with more urgency, scoring a couple of takedowns and even wobbling the Filipino with a well-timed right to the jaw.
But Belingon was able to land some power shots including several spinning back kicks to Fernandes’ body.
In the third round, Fernandes went for another takedown, forcing Belingon to the defensive. By instinct, the Team Lakay stalwart fired several elbows against Fernandes, but they landed behind the head.
The Brazilian ended up clutching his head in pain and the bout was temporarily halted.
Later, Belingon was given the red card which meant his automatic elimination.
The bantamweight strap was thereby awarded to Fernandes, but even the Brazilian didn’t like the way the bout ended.
It was the third encounter between the two combatants. Fernandes won the initial face off via submission, while Belingon fought back to a razor-thin decision.
Meanwhile, Belingon’s teammate Danny Kingad outgrappled Japanese boxer Senzo Ikeda to advance to the semifinal round of the ONE flyweight grand prix.
Kingad improved 13-1 and will face Kairat Akhmetov, who beat Fil-Aussie Reece McLaren via unanimous decision, in the next round.
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