'I just love to compete' - Team Lakay's Kevin Belingon isn't going to wait for a title shot
Santino Honasan on Apr 17, 2018 11:48 PM
"I just train hard and keep improving, learning the techniques on the ground and wrestling, and improving my weaknesses to be my strengths in the future, para magamit ko sa mga susunod na laban.”
With four straight impressive victories under his belt, the popular belief is that Team Lakay’s Kevin Belingon is undoubtedly the number one contender in ONE Championship’s bantamweight division.
Heck, even ONE Championship CEO and Chairman Chatri Sityodtong agrees. It just so happens that timing doesn’t seem to be on the Baguio-native’s side.
“I agree, I agree a hundred percent. I talked to Kevin a couple of months ago, and I recommended that he wait it out,” Sityodtong said during the pre-fight press conference for ONE: Heroes of Honor.
Rather than stay idle and wait for the title fight, Belingon decided that he wanted to fight, whether or not for the championship.
“He wanted to fight so Matt Hume gave him a fight.”
On Friday at the ONE: Heroes of Honor card at the Mall of Asia Arena, Belingon takes on former title contender Andrew Leone, and Sityodtong bared that the winner will be next in line to challenge ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano Fernandes.
If Belingon can pull out a win, he gets his shot at redemption against Fernandes.
“For sure, Kevin Belingon is getting the next title shot, after Bibiano is rested and well” Sityodtong said.
As it turns out, the longest-reigning ONE world champion is a bit banged up after successfully defending his title against two-division world champion Martin Nguyen just last March.
"Bibiano’s injured right now, I just talked to him last week, his leg is still [hurt], he hasn’t been able to train at all, so I don’t know when he’ll be back in action," revealed Sityodtong.
Belingon and Fernandes have crossed paths for the world title before, in early 2016, with Fernandes handily defeating the Pinoy in the first round.
Since then, Belingon has won four straight, and Bibiano has defended his title thrice.
A long overdue rematch between Belingon and Fernandes will no doubt show just how much both fighters have gotten better since their first meeting, but before any talk of rematches, the Team Lakay knockout artist will first need to take care of business against Leone, who’s also angling for a rematch against the champion of his own.
For Belingon, accepting a fight against someone the caliber of Leone could definitely put his top contender status in jeopardy. A loss could easily send him to the back of the line, but the heavy-handed isn’t concerned about that.
It’s simply all about improving.
“For me, no worries. I just train hard and keep improving, learning the techniques on the ground and wrestling, and improving my weaknesses to be my strengths in the future, para magamit ko sa mga susunod na laban.”
“Sa akin, I just love to compete.” Belingon added.
Kevin Belingon and Andrew Leone square off in the main event of ONE Championship: Heroes of Honor this Friday, April 20th at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Catch the action LIVE starting 8:30 PM on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23