ONE Championship: Kevin Belingon open to facing Martin Nguyen in a rematch
Santino Honasan on Jul 06, 2020 03:29 PM
Kevin Belingon and Martin Nguyen faced off back in 2018 for the vacant interim ONE Bantamweight World Championship
So far, only three people have been able to defeat reigning ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin Ngyuen throughout his impressive career.
Two of those fighters - Marat Gafurov and Bibiano Fernandes - were reigning and defending champions when they beat Nguyen.
The other one beat Nguyen for the vacant interim ONE Bantamweight World Championship when Nguyen was arguably at the peak of his powers as the reigning ONE Featherweight and Lightweight World Champion back in 2018. That man is none other than Kevin Belingon, who went on to become the bantamweight division’s king later that year.
Belingon has since lost the championship and is coming off back-to-back defeats at the hands of bantamweight rival Fernandes.
Because of that, the Team Lakay star’s main focus now is to regain the bantamweight crown.
But if ONE Championship comes calling with an opportunity at Nguyen and the featherweight title however, Belingon says he isn’t one to turn down another chance at a world championship.
“For me, the priority is still getting the ONE Bantamweight World Title back, but of course I am willing to challenge Martin for the belt if given the opportunity by ONE,” Belingon told ONE Championship. “Still, regaining my belt remains my top priority.”
The Belingon-Nguyen matchup was undoubtedly one of 2018’s best matches, with the two stars going the full five rounds. Belingon cemented his status as the bantamweight division’s top contender with a unanimous decision win over Nguyen, who himself was hunting for an unprecedented third world championship in as many weight divisions.
Since then, Nguyen has been unstoppable at featherweight, taking out former titleholder Narantungalag Jadambaa and Koyomi Matsushima to retain the featherweight championship.
With Belingon already owning a victory over Nguyen, it wouldn’t be surprising for ONE to give him a shot at the featherweight throne.
Belingon believes however that the sequel just be as hard, if not harder than the first meeting.
“If we face each other again, I expect the same tough Martin Nguyen who I faced before, someone who hits very hard and has very good timing,” he said.
If Belingon were to choose however, he says he’d prefer to face Fernandes again.
“If it comes to that? I think I’d prefer facing Bibiano again," Belingon admitted.