Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon did exactly what his nickname promised – silenced his opponent and claimed the ONE Bantamweight World Championship Title in a unification bout headliner held in Singapore on November 9.
Belingon, the pride of the Igorot tribe in the Cordilleras, went into the mixed martial arts (MMA) ring as the Interim Bantamweight World Champion and came out winner by a split decision, ending the 5-year reign of Brazilian Bibiano Fernandes.
The ONE: Heart of the Lion was touted as the biggest MMA fight event of the year coming at the end of the Global Martial Arts Summit where Belingon was nominated as Male Athlete of the Year and Breakthrough Athlete of the Year.
The summit recognized Balingon and his fellow members in Team Lakay – awarding Eduard Folayang as Martial Arts Hero of the Year, Team Lakay as Gym of the Year, Mark Sangiao as Coach of the Year, and Joshua Pacio for Submission of the Year.
ONE Championship bannered Belingon’s epic win as the start of his reign in the MMA World. “The era of Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon has BEGUN!” went the caption of the ONE Championship video presenting the Filipino MMA as the new undisputed bantamweight king.
ONE recognized the Filipino fighter’s improved skills which won him the match. In a recap of the night’s bouts a feature on Belingon was headlined: #1 Kevin Belingon’s Improvement Is Staggering.
Belingon was defeated by Fernandes in 2016 via first-round submission to take the One Bantamweight World Champion crown.
ONE notes that the Filipino MMA “scrambled out of submission attempts this time and made his striking attacks count.”
Calling Belingon a “Team Lakay star and standout,” ONE predicts the fighter will continue his reign.
ONE noted that “As the undisputed ONE Bantamweight World Champion, Belingon is a tough assignment for anyone in his division, given his outstanding combination of striking and grappling defense.”
ONE is already scoping out The Silencer’s next title defense matches including a possible rematch against Fernandes.