ONE FC: Muin Gafurov looks to bounce back at Kevin Belingon’s expense

Nissi Icasiano
ONE FC: Muin Gafurov looks to bounce back at Kevin Belingon’s expense
Gafurov, coming off a disappointing defeat in April, seeks to redeem himself at the expense of Belingon

SINGAPORE – Muin Gafurov believes that his 5-round bantamweight encounter against Filipino fighter Kevin Belingon will give him the opportunity to return on the winning track. 

Both men are set to square off on the undercard of ONE Championship’s “State of Warriors” event, which takes place at the Thuwanna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar on Friday, October 7.

Gafurov is coming off a disappointing defeat at the hands of Reece McLaren, yielding to the Filipino-Australian standout via unanimous decision last April. 

The aforementioned setback derailed his hopes of securing a date with ONE Championship bantamweight titleholder Bibiano Fernandes, who successfully defended the division’s top prize by defeating Belingon via first-round submission this past January.

Gafurov seeks to redeem himself at the expense of Belingon, who aims to claim his first win since he outpointed Japanese journeyman Koetsu Okazaki by unanimous decision in December 2014. 

“We are both looking for the win, but I am hungry to get this one because he’s a former title challenger. Getting a win over him will be huge. Also, it will definitely raise my stock in the division,” he told Rappler. 

The 20-year-old native of Dushanbe, Tajikistan admitted that he is fully aware of Belingon’s outstanding striking background, but he sees himself as the more well-rounded competitor. 

“I can fight standing up or on the ground. There’s no problem. I am prepared with whatever he throws at me,” Gafurov stated. 

Gafurov looks to make a statement when he shares the ONE Championship cage with Belingon as a victory over the 28-year-old Baguio City native will elevate his stature in the bantamweight rankings. 

“I want that title shot. If not for my loss last time, I will be fighting for the belt. I want an emphatic win against Kevin Belingon to prove that I’m worthy of a shot at the belt,” he said. –

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