Fight pundits believe Kevin Belingon did enough to earn a rematch against reigning ONE batamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes after stringing together 4 straight victories.
But Belingon is making a slight detour from his title quest when he faces American grappler Andrew Leone in the main event of ONE: Heroes of Honor at Mall of Asia Arena on April 20.
To his coach, Mark Sangiao, this will serve as an opportunity to test his grappling skills yet again before taking on the Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert in Fernandes.
“’Di naman nakakaapekto sa psyche n’ya ‘yung magdadaan pa siya sa eliminator para ma-maintain ang pagiging top contender niya,” said Sangiao.
“Actually, mas gusto pa namin ito kasi makapag-handa pa siya.”
And Leone, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a decorated wrestler, would be the perfect "tune-up" opponent for Belingon.
“Ngayon makakalaban niya grappler-wrestler, mas makakapag-prepare siya para sa title fight,” Sangiao said.
Even Belingon declared that no one can stop him from marching toward his goal of becoming a world champion.
“I am coming for that belt, and no one can stop me . . . I am a man on a mission. I want to show everybody that I am the real title challenger-in-waiting,” he said in a previous report.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)