The fourth and the last ONE Championship event to take place in the Philippines in 2018 is titled “ONE: Conquest of Champions.” The promotion has yet to make an announcement but one of the possible bouts to be considered for the main event is the rematch between Bibiano “The Flash” Fernades, 38, of Brazil and Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, 30, of the Philippines.
Fernandes has been reigning as the ONE Bantamweight World Champion since October 8, 2013. He has successfully defended his title seven times, making him the champion with the most title defenses in ONE Championship.
On May 31, 2013, Fernandes became the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion by defeating Koetsu Okazaki, 39, of Japan via unanimous decision at “ONE: Rise of Power” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. On October 18, 2013, the Brazilian champ faced then reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Soo Chul Kim, 26, of South Korea at “ONE: Total Domination” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore for the title unification.
By defeating Kim via unanimous decision at “ONE: Total Domination,” Fernandes became the undisputed ONE Bantamweight World Champion. The fourth contender to challenge Fernandes was Belingon.
On January 23, 2016, Belingon’s attempt to dethrone Fernandes was not successful. The Brazilian champ submitted his Filipino challenger via kimura at “ONE: Dynasty of Champions 5” on January 23, 2016 at the Helong Stadium in Changsha, Hunan, China.
After losing to Fernandes, Belingon established a six-bout winning streak. On July 27, 2018, the Filipino fighter became the ONE Interim World Champion by defeating Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, 29, of Australia and Vietnam at “ONE: Reign of Kings” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Before facing Belingon, Nguyen made an attempt to dethrone Fernandes but failed. While reigning as the ONE Featherweight and Lightweight World Champion, the Vietnamese-Australian champ lost to Fernandes via split decision at “ONE: Iron Will” on March 24, 2018 at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
The SM Mall of Asia Arena should play host to the much awaited rematch between Belingon and Fernandes as it is the venue where both fighters became a ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion. The Brazilian champ was in the audience when the Filipino fighter earned the title at “ONE: Reign of Kings.”
During the post-fight interview of Belingon at “ONE: Reign of Kings,” he was joined by Fernandes inside the cage. While the two champions are apparently in good terms, the newly crowned Filipino champ could not help but express his eagerness to share the cage with the Brazilian champ once again to become the undisputed ONE Bantamweight World Champion.
Originally, the rematch between Fernandes and Belingon was set to be the main event of “Reign of Kings” but it was cancelled because the former was injured. ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong has confirmed that the reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion can only fight in either October 2018 or in November 2018.
“ONE: Conquest of Champions” is scheduled to take place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on November 23, 2018. Meanwhile, here is a recap of “ONE: Reign of Kings” by Mitch “The Dragon” Chilson and Michael Schiavello: