ONE Championship: New champ Kevin Belingon believes a rematch with Bibiano Fernandes is on the way
Santino Honasan on Nov 14, 2018 03:53 PM
"Okay lang, I am a fighter, Iím a pro, so kung may rematch, deserve naman niya yung rematch kasi naging maganda yung laban, very close, kaya kung ibibigay yung rematch, tatanggapin natin."
Newly-crowned undisputed ONE Championship Bantamweight World Champion Kevin "The Silencer" Belingon believes that he'll be seeing more of former long-time champion Bibiano "The Flash" Fernandes in the future.
Belingon edged Fernandes via Split Decision at ONE: Heart of the Lion last November 9th in Singapore, becoming the first person to defeat Fernandes inside a ONE Championship cage. Furthermore, Belingon dethroned Fernandes as the promotion's bantamweight kingpin, ending the dominant Brazilian star's five year reign.
When asked who could possibly be the first challenger in Belingon's new title reign, the Team Lakay star offered up an honest assesment of the situation.
"No idea, wala pang idea," said Belingon after the five-round war. "Pero sa tingin ko, ibibigay si Bibiano ulit."
Belingon himself believes that a third fight with Bibiano is likely, given that the rematch was very close. When asked if he would agree to a potential third go-around, the Filipino bantamweight said he had no qualms about it.
"Okay lang, I am a fighter, I’m a pro, so kung may rematch, deserve naman niya yung rematch kasi naging maganda yung laban, very close, kaya kung ibibigay yung rematch, tatanggapin natin."
For his part, Fernandes appears to be already campaigning for one, as he believes that he should still be champion.
Speaking to Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com, Fernandes revealed that his contract included a rematch clause.
“It’s in my contract. If I lost the belt, we would automatically do a rematch. I had that in my contract way before this fight. Especially in a loss like this, I’m glad I have this clause," said Fernandes.
The owner of the longest championship reign in ONE history, Fernandes believes that it wasn't Belingon that beat him on fight night, but rather the judges.
“If I had lost, if he had submitted me or broke me, he’s the champion, leave it be,” Fernandes said. “But the way it was, I didn’t lose the fight. We have to do a rematch. Honestly, I don’t feel I lost that fight, so my conscience is very clear. I didn’t lose that fight. I didn’t lose to Kevin. I lost to the judges, but not to Kevin.”
The November 9 bout was a rematch of their 2016 encounter that saw Fernandes handiliy stop Belingon via submission in the first round.
By the looks of it, we could be getting Belingon vs. Fernandes 3 in 2019.