While fight fans see UFC fighters throw insults at each other and even physically attack each other before fighting in the cage, it is a different story in ONE Championship. One great example is the mutual respect between Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, 29, and Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, 30, who are set to compete for the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship at “ONE: Reign of Kings.”
Representing Team Lakay of Baguio City, Philippines, Belingon already has a guaranteed title shot at ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes, 38, of Brazil. Still, the Filipino contender agreed to face Nguyen, who is the reigning ONE Featherweight and Lightweight World Champion.
“Mad respect to Kevin Belingon for accepting this challenge,” Nguyen stated. “He didn’t have to, but he did, and that just speaks volume of the kind of warrior this guy is. I have complete and total respect for a martial artist with his values and principles.”
Nguyen and Belingon had their face-off on July 24, 2018 at the “ONE: Reign of Kings” at the City of Dreams Manila in Paranaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines. The event was attended by ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong, Globe chief commercial officer Albert de Larrazabal, Globe’s Content Business Group senior vice president Nikko Z. Acosta, City of Dreams Manila senior vice president and chief operating officer Kevin Benning, Games and Amusements Board chairman Abraham Kahlil B. Mitra.
“In a huge way, I see a lot of similarities between us,” Nguyen said of himself and Belingon. “We are both hungry, and we are both determined for victory.”
“I have worked extremely hard for this matchup and I am set on my goal, which is the ONE Bantamweight World Championship and to become a three-division world champion and make history,” Nguyen said. “Nothing can stop me from achieving that goal. I feel that this is my time.”
“ONE: Reign of Kings” will take place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila on July 27, 2018. Meanwhile, here are Nguyen and Belingon at the press conference: