ONE: Kevin Belingon's world title win is the product of team effort from Team Lakay
Santino Honasan on Jul 30, 2018 01:47 PM
“I think this is one of the memorable moments of our team, because, hindi ko alam, malapit na yata namin kunin lahat [ng championships].”
Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena, Team Lakay’s Kevin Belingon became the latest member of Team Lakay to capture a world championship by defeating two-division titleholder Martin Nguyen in the main event of ONE: Reign of Kings to win the ONE Championship Interim Bantamweight World Champion.
And while it was Belingon who did the work inside the cage, the win wasn’t just his, rather it was all of the Philippines’ and of course, Team Lakay's.
As former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang explained, Belingon’s win was the result of team effort.
“Masayang-masaya ako kasi na-predict ko na yan noon pa eh, talagang mananalo si Kevin,” Folayang said during the post-fight press conference. “Of course, because you can see that we worked very hard and of course, smart on our preparation, talagang we helped each other.”
Nguyen is, of course, a familiar opponent for Team Lakay, with Folayang having faced the Viet-Aussie star back in 2017.
“Kung ano yung pwede naming ibigay na advice or time na maibibigay sa kasama namin, preparing for a fight, we give it.” Folayang continued.
With Belingon’s interim title win, he becomes the fourth member of Team Lakay to hold ONE World Championship gold, joining Folayang, former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio Banario, and reigning ONE Championship Flyweight World Champion Geje Eustaquio.
Add reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera to that list, and you have all five world champions representing the Philippines, making it the country with the most world title wins in ONE Championship's seven-year history.
The way Folayang sees it, there’s more on the way.
“I think this is one of the memorable moments of our team, because, hindi ko alam, malapit na yata namin kunin lahat [ng championships].” the former lightweight king said playfully.
And while what Folayang said was in jest, it isn’t wrong by any means.
Friday night’s ONE card had two other winnner from the famed Benguet-based MMA stable, as Folayang decisioned Russian newcomer Aziz Pahrudinov, while former strawweight title contender Joshua Pacio steamrolled through Thailand’s Pongsiri Mitsatit in just one round.
Both Folayang and Pacio are riding winning streaks, and both are inching their way closer to title contention.
“If ONE Championship or sir Chatri [Sityodtong] will give me the opportunity to face Yoshitaka Naito, why not.” Pacio said at the presser. Should it push through, it would be Pacio’s second go-around with Naito after losing to the reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion back in 2016.
If everything goes according to plan for Team Lakay, they could have two, even three more world championships coming back home to La Trinidad pretty soon.