Kevin Belingon ready for Andrew Leone's high-level grappling
Santino Honasan on Apr 20, 2018 08:54 AM
"Iíve trained hard for this especially in wrestling and grappling techniques. Iím ready for this and Iím very excited to perform again in this big stage."
The main event of ONE Championship's Heroes of Honor card in Manila this Friday, April 20th is a textbook clash of styles.
Team Lakay's Kevin Belingon is arguably one of the most dangerous strikers in the bantamweight division, while his opponent, American Andrew Leone, is a top-level grappler with a background in wrestling.
A couple of years back, people would have easily written off Belingon and Team Lakay's ground game, but recently, the Baguio-based side has shown exponential improvement in the grappling arts, which was put well on display when Eduard Folayang stifled a world class grappler in Shinya Aoki to claim the ONE Lightweight World Championship.
But one needs not go back that far. A look at Belingon's last fight against Kevin Chung is also proof enough.
Against a renowned Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practicioner in Chung, Belingon managed to nullify the grappler's strengths and impose his own will en route to a unanimous decision.
With regards to Friday's matchup agaisnt Leone, Belingon knows that the American might try to stand and trade, but it'll eventually be to set up a takedown, and he's fully ready for that.
"That’s what I’m expecting, he’ll give me a fake punch or kick and then he’ll shoot," Belingon said. "But I’ve trained hard for this especially in wrestling and grappling techniques. I’m ready for this and I’m very excited to perform again in this big stage."
Preparing for Leone won't be anything new for the Team Lakay camp however, as they've already gameplanned for the Bali-MMA product before.
Back in 2013, Leone made his ONE debut against Team Lakay's Geje Eustaquio, earning a three-round unanimous decision win.
And while it's been nearly five years since that fight, it was still a point of study for Belingon's camp.
"Inaral namin yung laban niya kay Geje, puro ground, pinag-hahandaan ko yun, pinag-hahandaan namin yun, especially yung takedown niya"
Belingon adds that they've already come up with some counter shots for Leone's takedowns.
"Always na naka-depensa, tapos may counter na ako kung sakaling magshu-shoot or mag-aattempt."
With another shot at the world title at stake for these Belingon and Leone, expecte these two to put on fireworks, friday evening.
Catch all the intense MMA and martial arts action on ONE: Heroes of Honor, live starting at 8:30 PM on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23!