SINGAPORE – Kevin Belingon, the newly-crowned ONE Championship undisputed bantamweight king, won’t back down from the challenge if he and former champion Bibiano Fernandes tangle for the belt for the third time.
The Filipino was quick to answer on the affirmative when asked if he would fight Fernandes in a potential trilogy after ending the Brazilian’s five-year reign in the bantamweight division.
Absorbing a first-round submission loss the first time they clashed, Belingon redeemed himself against Fernandes with a split decision win in their title unification bout at the Singapore Indoor Stadium here on Friday, November 9.
“I’m a fighter. I’m a professional so I’ll take any fight,” Belingon, battered and bruised from the fight, said of the potential rematch.
The verdict could have gone either way, especially with the split decision, but Belingon had Fernandes on the ropes in multiple occasions to pull off a convincing triumph.
Belingon delivered vicious ground and pound in the latter part of the 2nd round but Fernandes merely escaped as the bell rung.
The same thing happened in the 3rd as Belingon dropped his foe with a perfectly placed right hand counter to the head only to witness Fernandes get saved by the bell again.
“When I knocked him down, he was already down for a few seconds, so he’s like he was saved by the bell. But he’s really tough. I felt that my punches were very strong but he absorbs them very good,” Belingon said.
“I was waiting for the opportunity to knock him out but he’s really tough so I just threw a kick and a punch to gain points. His defense is very good.”
Belingon joins Joshua Pacio (strawweight), Geje Estaquio (flyweight) and Brandon Vera (heavyweight) as Filipino world title holders in ONE Championship. – Rappler.com