ONE Championship: The Philippines’ Jimmy Yabo Inspired To Win By Fellow 'Silencer' Kevin Belingon
ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 15, 2018 12:14 PM
"Seeing Kevin Belingon win the way he did against a tough veteran in Bibiano Fernandes taught me that anything is possible,” - Jimmy Yabo (Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)
Unknown to many, there are two Filipino mixed martial artists nicknamed "The Silencer" currently strutting their wares on the prestigious ONE Championship stage.
The more popular one is Baguio City’s Kevin Belingon, who defeated Bibiano Fernandes via split decision at ONE: HEART OF THE LION on Friday, 9 November to be crowned the undisputed ONE Bantamweight World Champion.
The other is Cebu-based striker, Jimmy Yabo.
Both athletes came from the local mixed martial arts circuit before entering the world’s largest martial arts organization as undefeated athletes.
The two tasted their respective first losses inside the ONE cage, and have had their fair share of setbacks in the years to follow.
Unlike Belingon, Yabo’s professional career is yet to surge in the way that the 31-year-old Baguio City resident’s has.
All of that could begin to change this coming Saturday, 17 November, however.
Yabo is scheduled for his first outing after an 11-month layoff. He will meet Anthony Engelen on the undercard of ONE: WARRIOR'S DREAM, which takes place at Stadium Istora in Jakarta, Indonesia. The bout will take place at a 72-kilogram catchweight.
As he heads into the upcoming bout, the Cebu native feels inspired by the man whom he shares a nickname with.
"Seeing Kevin Belingon win the way he did against a tough veteran in Bibiano Fernandes taught me that anything is possible,” Yabo said.
"Just like Belingon, I am viewed as the underdog in my upcoming bout against a well-rounded athlete as well.
"We share the same moniker ‘The Silencer.’ Through faith and hard work, I am praying that I get to experience having the same success as well in ONE Championship.”
Yabo, a former Philippine National Taekwondo Champion, last saw action in December when he fell to Muay Thai specialist Sagetdao “Deadly Star” Petpayathai at ONE: WARRIORS OF THE WORLD in Bangkok, Thailand.
Although it has been 11 months since that contest, the Cebu native has spent his time wisely sharpening his skills and preparing to shock the promotional newcomer.
"I'm so eager to showcase the things I've worked and improved on during my layoff,” he said.
"I may have been away from the cage, but I was training and working all the time at the gym so that I will be a better martial artist when I return to competition.
Yabo will look to show the fruits of his labor this coming Saturday in Jakarta.