Team Lakay warrior Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, 30, of the Philippines is days away from the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship bout. If he wins the belt, he will give his home country its fifth ONE Championship belt.
The ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship bout will be the main event of “ONE: Reign of Kings” on July 27, 2018 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. To win the title, Belingon has to defeat reigning ONE Featherweight and Lightweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, 29, of Australia and Vietnam.
While Nguyen aims to make history as the first three-division world champion in mixed martial arts, Belingon could likewise establish a new record for the Philippines in ONE Championship. The organization has raised the stakes of the scheduled five-round clash between the two bantamweight superfighters.
“The main goal for Filipino martial arts athletes like me is to bring pride, honor and glory to our country,” Belingon said. “This match against Marin Nguyen on July 27 is another opportunity to hoist the Philippine flag aloft on the world stage of this beautiful sport.”
If Belingon succeeds in securing the gold-plated strap at the expense of Nguyen, the Philippines will set a record of most championship wins in the seven-year history of ONE Championship. To date, there have been four Filipino world champions in the promotion since 2013.
On February 2, 2013, Team Lakay warrior Honorio “The Rock” Banario, 28, became the first Philippine-rooted competitor to notch a huge prize in ONE Championship when he defeated his fellow Filipino fighter Eric “The Natural” Kelly, 36, by fourth-round stoppage for the inaugural ONE Featherweight World Championship. On December 11, 2015, Brandon “The Truth” Vera, 40, became the first ONE Heavyweight World Champion by knocking out Paul “Typhoon” Cheng, 39, of Taiwan in 26 seconds with a high kick .
On November 11, 2016, Team Lakay warrior Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 34, pulled off a major upset victory over Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki, 35, of Japan to capture the ONE Lightweight World Championship. On January 26, 2018, Team Lakay warrior Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, 29, joined the list of Filipino world titleholders claiming the ONE Interim Flyweight World Championship with a split decision win over Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov, 30, of Kazakhstan in a rematch before becoming the undisputed division kingpin in his second meeting with Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes, 29, of Brazil.
Belingon is coming out of a victory over Andrew Leone, 28, of the United States at “ONE: Heroes of Honor” on April 20, 2018 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. Watch their bout here: