Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon was sorry that his rubber match with Bibiano Fernandes had to end that way.
Belingon was stripped of the ONE bantamweight crown on Sunday after being penalized for illegal strikes while he was defending the title against Fernandes.
The Silencer said he never intended to hit the Brazilian at the back of his head. Fernandes had him on the mat when he fired a series of elbows to prevent the Brazilian from establishing a more superior position.
“His head was moving while I was trying to rain down elbows. I never really intended to hit him on the back of his head,” said Belingon in ABS-CBN Sports.
Belingon was disqualified after Fernandes’ deemed himself “unable to continue.”
“I felt like he could have continued. Before the incident, I knew I had him hurt on the feet,” he said. Belingon himself had to survive a near knock out after he got caught with a counter right to the jaw.
Given the controversial outcome of the match, ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong ordered an immediate rematch. This meant a fourth face-off between the two combatants.
“I’m thankful to ONE Championship, especially Chatri Sityodtong for the immediate rematch. This is the only way we’ll settle the score,” Belingon said.
“I was so happy to hear it from Chatri himself. This is the best way to see who really is the champion.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)