ONE Championship: Kevin Belingon and Bibiano Fernandes get immediate rematch after controversial ending
Santino Honasan on Apr 02, 2019 05:37 PM
Kevin Belingon and Bibiano Fernandes run it back once again for the ONE Bantamweight World Championship (Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)
In probably the lone unfortunate development at last Sunday's ONE: A New Era card at the historic Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan, Team Lakay's Kevin "The Silencer" Belingon wound up losing his ONE Bantamweight World Championship to Brazil's Bibiano Fernandes due to a disqualification.
In the third round of their title trilogy bout, Fernandes took Belingon down and the Filipino star responded by firing off a succession of elbow.
Unfortunately for Belingon, a number of those elbows connected on the back of Fernandes' head, which is an illegal target in mixed martial arts.
Fernandes ultimately couldn't continue the match and Belingon was shown a red card, which meant an automatic disqualification.
Fernandes, however, wasn't happy with how he regained the belt, and ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong revealed during the post-fight press conference that there would be an immediate rematch between the two bantamweight stars.
"Gonna be an automatic rematch. Bibiano didn’t even want the belt under those circumstances. Bibiano is a true world champion in every sense of the word. It was an unfortunate back-of-the-head elbow, Bibiano was not able to continue, so we will see an automatic rematch," Sityodtong explained.
He further clarified that Fernandes is indeed the current champion, but the Brazilian legend wasn't having it.
"Bibiano is the champion on a technicality. He doesn’t want to win it that way, and he wants a rematch, so we’re gonna see a rematch. I’m sure Belingon doesn’t want to lose that way either."
"These are two warriors, two of the best martial artists in the world, and they deserve another shot, fair and square, to see who’s the best," Sityodtong added.
No date for the rematch has been set yet.