MANILA -- Kevin Belingon and Team Lakay know ONE bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes is a fearsome opponent on the ground.
This is why they are investing a lot of his training time on improving his grappling skills. Belingon said this will come handy if the title match goes to the mat.
“I have the entire team with me on this as I work on my wrestling and jiu-jitsu. What we do is go down from the mountains to train with coach John Baylon. We do the basics, gather what we can use in actual bouts, and then go back to Baguio to do it all over again. We trim down what can be used for our contests and what not," he said.
Belingon added that he gets a training boost from his teammate, former lightweight champion Eduard Folayang, who came back from his US training.
Folayang said the grappling game is quite different in the US.
"The American approach to grappling is a bit different. It is about going to a dominant position and not forcing to secure a submission. What I learned is to get to a dominant position and then score from there," he explained.
"I think we have a good grappling base in wushu. That is a huge factor because in wushu you do takedowns with a pair of gloves. Another factor is we now have the confidence that even if we go to the ground, we do not worry about getting easily submitted."
Belingon, who lost to Fernandes in 2016, will square off against the Brazilian in the co-main event of ONE: Heart of the Lion, which takes place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on November 9.
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