When Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, 30, of the Philippines became the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion at “ONE: Reign of Kings,” he did not leave the cage unscathed. Recently, the Team Lakay fighter shared the injuries inflicted on him by ONE Featherweight and Lightweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, 29, of Australia and Vietnam.
“Right now, I am just focused on resting and healing my body,” Belingon stated. “I am pretty banged up. My ankle and shin are bruised, and they need time to recover.”
The “ONE: Reign of Kings” bout between Belingon and Nguyen took place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines on July 27, 2018. After five five-minute rounds, the Filipino contender had his hand raised by referee Olivier Coste as the winner via unanimous decision.
Now that Belingon is the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion, he is expected to have his rematch with reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes, 38, of Brazil, who is also recovering from an injury. In their first encounter, which was on January 23, 2016 at “ONE: Dynasty of Champions 5” at the Helong Stadium in Changsha, Hunan, China, the Brazilian champ submitted his Filipino challenger via kimura.
“Once everything is good to go, then I will be back in training,” Belingon said. “But for now, I am going to enjoy the rest. It still has not sunk in that I am a world champion.”
Capturing the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship is a childhood dream come true for Belingon. During his post-fight interview at “ONE: Reign of Kings,” he said, “I can’t explain this feeling.”
“I’m the happiest athlete tonight,” the Team Lakay fighter added. “Thank you to all the people who came out to support me, and of course to ONE Championship, my team, my coaches and trainers, and my teammates.”
With the win, Belingon becomes the fifth Filipino to capture ONE World Championship gold. He joins reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera as well as his Team Lakay teammates, namely reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, 29, former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 34, and former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario, 28.