ONE: Kevin Belingon, Martin Nguyen go head to head for the interim bantamweight title in Manila
Santino Honasan on Jul 27, 2018 10:14 AM
History, glory, and gold will be on the line when Kevin Belingon takes on Martin Nguyen for the interim ONE Championship Bantamweight World Title
ONE Championship returns to Manila for the third time this year, as once again, the Mall of Asia Arena plays host to a world title bout of epic proportions, as top-ranked contender Kevin 'The Silencer' Belingon takes on reigning two-division world champion Martin 'The Situ-Asian' Nguyen for the interim ONE Championship Bantamweight World Title in the main event of ONE: Reign of Kings, Friday.
Fighting out of the famed Team Lakay stable in Baguio, number-one ranked bantamweight contender Belingon is out to realize his dream of becoming a world champion, but first, he needs to go through a tough test in the promotion's first two-division titleholder.
A win for Belingon not only gives him a world championship, putting him along with stablemates Honorio Banario, Eduard Folayang, and Geje Eustaquio as Team Lakay stars to bring home ONE gold, but it also finally secures a shot at reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano Fernandes.
A bit of national pride is also on the line for 'The Silencer' as a world title win for him gives the Philippines their fifth ONE world champion, the most for any country in the promotion's seven-year history.
Two-division king Nguyen is also on a quest for history of his own.
With the ONE Featherweight and Lightweight World Titles already in his possession, the Vietnamese-Australian star has set his sights on becoming the only three-division world champion in MMA history.
After coming up short in his first bantamweight title bid against Fernandes back in March, Nguyen gets another chance at gold, but this time he'll need to go through arguably the division's second-best guy.
A win for Nguyen not only makes him a three-division king, but it also locks down another go-around with Fernandes for the undisputed title.
Also on the card, the face of Filipino MMA makes his return to Manila, as former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard 'The Landslide' Folayang of Team Lakay looks to take another step back into title contention when the welcomes unbeaten Combat Sambo World Champion Aziz Pahrudinov to ONE Championship.
Folayang returns to the very arena where he lost his title eight months earlier and looks to redeem himself in front of a pro-Filipino crowd, and he'll have the perfect opportunity to do it against a newcomer in Pahrudinov.
A win for Folayang makes it two in a row for the Baguio City native, and it catapults him right back into the lightweight title picture.
The debuting Russian won't be an easy out for the former champion however, as Pahrudinov boasts a perfect 20-0 professional record, with 19 of those wins coming via stoppage.
If Pahrudinov can upset a big name like Folayang, he immediately makes a splash in the talent-stacked lightweight division.
Speaking of moving back into the title picture, Team Lakay strawweight star Joshua 'The Passion' Pacio will also try to climb his way back to contender status as kicks off the Reign of Kings card against unbeaten Thai star Pongsiri Misatit.
At just 22 years of age, Pacio is already a former ONE world title contender and arguably one of the strawweight division's top guys.
Pacio is currently riding a two-fight winning streak, with both wins coming via spectacular stoppage. A third straight will definitely put the kid back in the mix for Yoshitaka Naito's world title.
Thailand's Misatit is not one to be taken lightly however.
The Tiger Muay Thai product is 8-0 in his career with seven wins coming via stoppage, and his last two victories have come against Pinoy fighters in Jeremy Miado and Rabin Catalan.
Also looking to make a run at the strawweight title is Filipino veteran Rene 'The Challenger' Catalan, who faces undefeated Indonesian Stefer Rahardian.
The winner of his last four fights, Catalan will look to make it five straight, and a win over an unbeaten up-and-comer like Rahardian will certainly help the CFS product's standing in the division.
Plus, martial arts icon and sixth-degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Renzo Gracie makes his in-cage return to take on Japanese MMA legend Yuki Kondo, a veteran of over a hundred mixed-martial arts bouts.
And in a lightweight contest with massive title implications, former ONE Lightweight World Champion and Japanese MMA icon Shinya 'Tobikan Judan' Aoki takes on top Thai contender Shannon 'OneShin' Wiratchai.
Full ONE: Reign of Kings Fight Card
ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship: Martin Nguyen vs Kevin Belingon - Mixed Martial Arts: 65.8kg (Bantamweight)
Shannon Wiratchai vs Shinya Aoki - Mixed Martial Arts: 77.1kg (Lightweight)
Renzo Gracie vs Yuki Kondo- Mixed Martial Arts: 83.9kg (Welterweight)
Eduard Folayang vs Aziz Pahrudinov - Mixed Martial Arts: 77.1kg (Lightweight)
Garry Tonon vs Rahul Raju - Mixed Martial Arts: 77.1kg (Lightweight)
Armen Petrosyan vs Chris Ngimbi - ONE Super Series Kickboxing: 72.5kg (Catch Weight)
Panicos Yusuf vs Han Zi Hao - ONE Super Series Muay Thai: 65.8kg (Bantamweight)
Joshua Pacio vs Pongsiri Mitsatit - Mixed Martial Arts: 56.7kg (Strawweight)
Chamuaktong Fightermuaythai vs Brown Pinas - ONE Super Series Muay Thai: 68.0kg (Catch Weight)
Rene Catalan vs Stefer Rahardian - Mixed Martial Arts: 56.7kg (Strawweight)
Sor Sey vs Xie Bin - Mixed Martial Arts: 70.3kg (Featherweight)
Catch ONE Championship: Reign of Kings on Friday, July 27th, 7:00 PM at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Don't miss the action. Watch it LIVE starting at 8:30 PM on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23!