After losing to reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes, 38, Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, 30, established a five-bout winning streak. Before facing Fernandes again, Belingon will compete for the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion belt against Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, 29.
“I took this challenge against Martin Nguyen, despite having a guaranteed shot at Bibiano Fernandes already, because I wanted to prove that I never back down from any challenge no matter how big or small,” Belingon explained. “Beating Martin (Nguyen) will be huge for my career.”
The ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship bout between Belingon and Nguyen will be the main event of “ONE: Reign of Kings,” which will take place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines on July 27, 2018. They had their face-off during the press conference at the City of Dreams Manila in Parañaque, Metro Manila on July 24, 2018.
“This is without a doubt the biggest bout of my career,” Belingon said. “Everything that I have worked on to this point, all the countless nights spent in the gym, endless rolls with my teammates at Team Lakay, all the wins and the sacrifices, it all comes down to this.
If Belingon wins, he will be the fourth ONE Championship world champion from Team Lakay. The first three are former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario, 28, former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 34,and reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, 29.
It was Nguyen who dethroned Folayang. Fighting out of Australia, the former is the reigning ONE Featherweight and Lightweight World Champion.
“He is a two-division world champion at both featherweight and lightweight,” Belingon said of Nguyen. “If I defeat him, I just beat a two-division world champion. Think about that for a second. I am excited to get into the cage this Friday night and do what I do best.”
Here are Belingon and Nguyen at the “ONE: Reign of Kings” press conference: