Kevin Belingon named 2018 ONE Warrior of the Year
MANILA, Philippines – For his stellar undefeated run in 2018, Team Lakay’s Kevin Belingon has been awarded the ONE Championship Warrior of the Year award.
This is just the latest in a string of accolades that the Baguio City star has amassed in the overall fruitful year for his stable.
Belingon bested Myanmar folk hero and two-division world champion Aung La N Sang as well as ONE Women’s Strawweight Champion Xiong Jin Nan among others for the yearly award.
Already undefeated for the entirety of 2017, Belingon started 2018 with a brutal second-round TKO win against American Andrew Leone in ONE Heroes of Honor at the Mall of Asia Arena.
His devastating spinning back kick, which transitioned into a ground-and-pound assault, was one of the nominations for ONE Knockout of the Year. The victory ensured him a shot at the ONE Bantamweight World Title.
However, with then-incumbent champion Bibiano Fernandes on the shelf due to an injury, the 31-year-old striker instead faced then-two-division world champion Martin Nguyen for a ONE Interim Bantamweight Title shot.
And so it came to be that at ONE Reign of Kings, Belingon halted Nguyen’s 3-division title hunt over 5 methodically-paced rounds and nabbed the interim title with Fernandes watching at ringside.
After a long wait, the pride of Lakay finally came face-to-face with Fernandes last November 9 at ONE Heart of a Lion in Singapore. In 5 grueling rounds between equally-skilled warriors, Belingon overcame the returning Brazilian superstar in a split decision victory to become the unified ONE Bantamweight World Champion.
Belingon has since joined Lightweight Champion Eduard Folayang, Flyweight Champion Geje Eustaquio, and Strawweight Champion Joshua Pacio to end Team Lakay’s year with 4 world champions to its name. – Rappler.com
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