Kevin Belingon felt that all of his hard work paid off when he was crowned as the ONE interim bantamweight champion Friday night.
“The Silencer” effectively countered Martin Nguyen’s attempts to topple him, using his superb takedown defense and rapid strikes. This wouldn’t have been possible if not for his speed, he said.
“Nakita kasi namin ang mga laban ni Martin, 1 punch, 2 punches (lang ang ginagawa). Parang tuma-timing lang,” the Team Lakay stalwart said after his win.
“So ‘yung speed ang pagkakaiba sa laban namin at naging armas namin para ‘di papormahin si Martin.”
With the hometown crowd cheering behind him at the Mall of Asia Arena, Belingon picked the "Situ-Asian" apart on stand-up.
Nguyen tried to bring the fight to the ground by repeatedly shooting for a takedown. But Belingon fended off his attempts and fired a flurry of strikes whenever he saw an opening.
At one time, he even startled the Australian-Vietnamese with a flying roundhouse kick.
In the end, all three judges favored Belingon with a unanimous decision win.
The victory effectively guaranteed him a match against “full” bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes. He is expected to take on the Brazilian once the latter fully recovers from injury.
“My friend Bibiano, I respect him as a champion, but we’re in the same weight class and I’m the top contender. So there is no escape in facing me.”
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