Team Lakay’s Kevin Belingon on ‘ONE: A New Era’ bout against Bibiano Fernandez: I’m going for the finish

Kevin Belingon, Olivier Coste, Bibiano Fernandes
Kevin Belingon, Olivier Coste, Bibiano Fernandes

Reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, 31, of the Philippines is all geared up to defend his title at the Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on March 31, 2019 against rival Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes, 38, of Brazil. The highly anticipated trilogy bout is one of three co-main events at “ONE: A New Era.”

“I’m going for the finish. This time, when I see the opening, I’m going to take it,” Belingon stated. “I’m going to be aggressive and strong. With my Team Lakay brothers at cageside, I will have the strength and power to defeat him.”

Belingon’s title defense was the last announcement to be made for the card among the Team Lakay World Champions. Although he had been enjoying the beginning of the year, he was doing some light training just in case he got the call to defend his belt in Tokyo.

“I started 2019 enjoying the company of my family and friends,” Belingon said. “I wasn’t worried at all that I didn’t have a schedule to defend my title yet. I was in light training just in case. You never know when the call could come, and it was best to be prepared.”

Belingon had a gut feeling he would be getting the call soon so when the news broke, he was not surprised at all. A feeling of excitement came over him because he would get to join his Team Lakay brothers Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 34, and Danny “The King” Kingad, 23, on the card.

“I had a feeling I would be defending my title against Bibiano again,” Belingon said. “It was inevitable given how close the last bout was. I don’t mind. I’m excited and willing to prove myself once again.”

Belingon and Fernandes first met back in January 2016 where the Team Lakay stalwart tapped to a kimura in the first round. In 2018, they met for a second time. Ready for his Brazilian opponent’s grappling, the Filipino fighter outperformed the defending champion to win via razor-thin split decision.

It is a feat Belingon wishes to repeat at “ONE: A New Era.” For him it is going to be the toughest bout of his career.

“I have prepared well for him again,” Belingon said. “I think I know him very well now. It’s going to be a tough fight.”

If Belingon can pull off another incredible performance, a victory would effectively and finally put Fernandes in his rear view mirror. The reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion cannot wait to put on a show for the fans in Tokyo and to lay it all out inside the cage.

Here is Belingon and his fellow Team Lakay fighters:

[PHOTOS] Philippines vs Japan: Ramon Gonzales, Akihiro Fujisawa fight at ‘ONE: Roots of Honor’ in Manila

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Philippines and Japan were among the 18 countries represented at “ONE: Roots of Honor.” It was the second ONE Championship event in 2019 held in the Philippines.

Featuring two kickboxing contests, two Muay Thai bouts and 11 mixed martial arts matches, “ONE: Roots of Honor” took place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines on April 12, 2019. In the first bout of the evening, Ramon “The Bicolano” Gonzales, 31, of Albay, Philippines faced Akihiro “Superjap” Fujisawa, 39, of Tokyo, Japan.

Blue Corner

Training out of Shingi Dojo and Team THAI-YO, Fujisawa is an alum of “Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series” Season 1, where he knocked out Sandeep Gurung of Nepal.“ “ONE: Roots of Honor” marked the Japanese fighter’s third official ONE Championship bout.

On April 20, 2018, Fujisawa knocked out Kaji “Alpha” Ebin, 26, of the Philippines via shoulder injury at “ONE: Heroes of Honor.” On November 23, 2018, the Shingi Dojo and Team THAI-YO athlete knocked out  Rockie “God’s Warrior” Bactol, 19, of the Philippines at “ONE: Conquest of Champions.”

Red Corner

Gonzales is a Kyoskushin karate black belt and a three-time Filipino National Champion in karate. He is training out of Team Kyokushin, Hitman MMA and Kuwait Fight Club.

From 2015 to 2018, Gonzales won two out of his four ONE Championship bouts. “ONE: Roots of Honor” marked his fifth outing in the promotion.

Fight Result

Gonzales and Fujisawa competed in an MMA match in the strawweight division. Yoshinori Umeki served as the referee.

Umeki put a stop to the strawweight contest after 1 minute and 19 seconds in the first round. Gonzales submitted Fujisawa via guillotine choke.

Winning at “ONE: Roots of Honor” improved Gonzales’s professional MMA record to 4 wins and 2 losses. On the other hand, Fujisawa now has 5 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw.

“ONE: Roots of Honor” Main Events

In the co-main event, Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, 23, of the Philippines challenged reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta, 31, of Japan in a rematch. The Filipino challenger knocked out the Japanese defending champion in the fourth round.

In the main event, reigning ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, 29, of Australia and Vietnam defended his belt against former champion Narantungalag “Tungaa” Jadambaa, 43, of Mongolia. The Vietnamese-Australian defending champion knocked out the Mongolian challenger in the second round.

Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Indonesia, Mongolia, Morocco, the Netherlands, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States were also represented at “ONE: Roots of Honor.” Check the complete results on Conan Daily.

For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit www.onefc.com, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ONEChampionship.

Why watch ‘ONE: A New Era’ on March 31, 2019

'ONE: A New Era' fight card

On March 31, 2019 from Tokyo Japan, ONE Championship will put on the greatest show in its promotion’s history, and arguably the best of the year in mixed martial arts.

“ONE: A New Era” will feature three co-main events, four World Title bouts, and two epic promotional debuts. If that wasn’t enough, the show also features a fantasy-like kickboxing bout (Andy Souwer vs Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex), along with a match featuring perhaps the greatest female mixed martial artist in Japanese history in Mei Yamaguchi.

Here is a look at the entire card with a word on the top bouts and why you should watch.

  • ONE: A NEW ERA
  • Sunday, 31 March
  • Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo, Japan

 

  • Main Event
  • ONE Lightweight World Championship
  • Eduard Folayang (C) vs Shinya Aoki
  • Mixed Martial Arts: 77.1kg

Rematch will be the word of the day in Japan. There are three of them and none bigger than the battle for the ONE Lightweight World Title.

Reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang owns a stoppage win over Shinya Aoki from their first meeting back in November 2016. At the time, Aoki was champion and he looked unbeatable as he mowed down every opponent he faced in the lightweight division. The resilient and conditioned Folayang wouldn’t be denied and his constant pressure led to the TKO victory and his first title reign.

Folayang has since lost the title and regained it while Aoki battled through the toughest patch of his glorious career to ascend back to the mountaintop. Now he will challenge for the World Title against the man who dethroned him, and Aoki will do it in front of his adoring countrymen in Japan. It would be hard for any bout on the card to follow this one, so it’s good it is the main event.

  • Co-Main Event
  • ONE Women’s Strawweight World Championship
  • Xiong Jing Nan (C) vs Angela Lee
  • Mixed Martial Arts: 56.7kg

You know the main event has to be special if a champion-vs-champion superfight is the co-main event. ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee will put her undefeated professional record on the line as she climbs up to strawweight to challenge Xiong Jing Nan for her ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title.

Lee has battled past Japanese legend Mei Yamaguchi on two occasions but this battle with the powerful Xiong will be the biggest challenge of Unstoppable’s short, but impressive career thus far.

Ever since Xiong arrived in ONE, she’s done nothing but dominate her opponents. She too will be facing her toughest test. Which world-class martial artist will emerge victoriously?

  • Co-Main Event
  • ONE Middleweight World Championship
  • Aung La N Sang (C) vs Ken Hasegawa
  • Mixed Martial Arts: 93.0kg

As mentioned earlier, rematches are aplenty on this card.

In 2018, ONE Middleweight World Champion Aung La N Sang and Japan’s Ken Hasegawa battled in the Bout of the Year.

Aung La successfully defended his World title after securing a fifth-round KO, but Hasegawa represented himself well. Now Hasegawa will get a rematch with the “Burmese Python”, but this time, the scrap takes place in the challenger’s home country.

Can Aung La duplicate his performance, or has Hasegawa found some answers, and is he capable of using his fans’ energy to supplant Aung La as champion?

This figures to be another brawl and it could steal the show.

  • Co-Main Event
  • ONE Bantamweight World Championship
  • Kevin Belingon (C) vs Bibiano Fernandes
  • Mixed Martial Arts: 65.8kg

Yet another rematch comes our way here, and this one is the third bout in the series between reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin Belingon and Bibiano Fernandes.

In 2018, Belingon avenged a submission loss to Fernandes in their first meeting. Belingon took the bout by a narrow decision, and because of Fernandes’ long-standing reign as bantamweight king, he was awarded an immediate rematch.

With Belingon’s margin of victory far smaller than what Fernandes enjoyed in their bout, there is something for the Filipino warrior to prove. Brazil’s Fernandes wants nothing more than to win his title back, and both men want to win the series. On most cards, this would be the main event. On March 31, 2019, it will be the first co-main event.

  • ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix (Quarter-Final)
  • Demetrious Johnson vs Yuya Wakamatsu
  • Mixed Martial Arts: 61.2kg

The debut of legendary 12-time Flyweight Mixed Martial Arts World Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson will be the last non-title bout on the card. He faces local hero Yuya Wakamatsu in his promotional debut and it will be one of the more highly-anticipated first looks in mixed martial arts history.

Johnson is still widely regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artists in the world, and he’ll be looking to show that against Wakamatsu.

  • ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix (Quarter-Final)
  • Eddie Alvarez vs Timofey Nastyukhin
  • Mixed Martial Arts: 77.1kg

“The Underground King” Eddie Alvarez is in the same situation as Johnson. He’s a former multiple-time Mixed Martial Arts World Champion making his ONE Championship debut and looking to make a statement.

Alvarez faces Russia’s Timofey Nastyukhin in the first round of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix. He is expected to challenge for ONE’s gold at some point, and perhaps become the first man to win a world title in the three major global mixed martial arts promotions.

Nastyukhin represents Alvarez’s first impediment, as he had constantly asked for the toughest most dangerous opponent available. Nastyukhin certainly fits that bill. Expect a tremendous war of attrition in this exciting lightweight matchup.

Angela Lee won’t let Xiong Jong Nan dictate where the fight goes at ‘ONE: A New Era’ in Tokyo, Japan

Angela Lee, Bruno Pucci
Angela Lee, Bruno Pucci

For the first time, ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee, 22, of Singapore will face a fellow world champion. She is ready to get the win and if she is successful, she will become ONE Championship’s first ever female mixed martial artist to simultaneously hold two world championship belts in different divisions.

Lee will challenge reigning ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan, 31, of China at “ONE: A New Era” on March 31, 2019 at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan. It is the first ever ONE Championship event to take place in the country.

“She’s an aggressive, forward-pressure, volume striker,” Lee said of Xiong. “I think she’s been able to get the better of a lot of the opponents she’s faced in the past and dictate where the fight goes with her pressure. With me, she’s not going to be able to do that.”

“ONE: A New Era” marks Lee’s 10th ONE Championship bout. She said, “I’m not just going to put my back to the cage and I’m not going to let her dictate where the fight goes.”

Currently, Lee holds a professionally MMA record of 9 wins and 0 loss. For her, being a challenger in a championship bout while reigning as a champion in a different division is “a huge once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that not many people get.”

“To already be the World Champion in my division and step up to possibly become a two-division World Champion, that would be a huge goal of mine,” Lee said. “This is going to be the fight of my life, and I’m going to put on my best performance.”

The most recent bout of Lee was on May 18, 2018 at “ONE: Unstoppable Dreams” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore where she had her rematch with Mei “V.V.” Yamaguchi, 36, of Japan. The Singaporean defending champion defeated her Japanese challenger via unanimous decision.

“I think that’s going to be the main difference now that we’ve had more time to really work more in every single area and get it all really tight,” Lee declared. “You’re going to see it all come together on the night of the fight.”

Also signed with ONE Championship, Christian “The Warrior” Lee, 20, of Singapore and Bruno “Puccibull” Pucci, 28, of Brazil are Angela’s brother and husband, respectively. Here is the reigning ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion in a recent open workout in Tokyo: