Belingon-Leone match headlines ONE Championship
MANILA, Philippines - ONE Championship, Asia’s premier martial arts organization, returns to Manila for the second of four shows in 2018.
Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon of Baguio’s Team Lakay (17-5) takes on former bantamweight world title challenger Andrew Leone (8-3) of Cortland, New York with both fighters vying for a key win to earn a rematch against reigning ONE bantamweight world champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes.
“I know Andrew Leone is a tough opponent, and I need to be at my best to win. It’s going to be one of my biggest matches to date,” said Belingon. “I am very thankful to ONE Championship for allowing me to be a part of this historic event. I can’t leave anything to chance. I have to give another great performance. Beating Leone would be the next step to the title.”
“I really trained hard for this match and I’m very, very excited,” Belingon added during a press conference on Tuesday, April 17, held at the City of Dreams in Pasay.
Leone also isn’t taking the Filipino combatant lightly.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for me. I can’t wait to go up there and show what I can do, to perform to the best of my ability,” said Leone. “Kevin Belingon is a tough guy. He’s a hard puncher and he has power. But I’m not worried about his striking. I’ve faced tough guys before. All I can say is that I’ll be ready.”
ONE: Heroes of Honor also marks the world premiere of the highly-anticipated ONE Super Series, which aims to provide the world's best martial artists a prestigious global platform to showcase the beauty of Asia's striking arts such as muay thai, kickboxing, karate, taekwondo, kung fu, wushu, sanda, silat, lethwei, and more.
Headlining the inaugural Super Series card will be the match featuring Italian kickboxing master Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan (85-2-2) and Thai kickboxer “Smoking” Jo Nattawut (60-11-2) from Atlanta, Georgia.
Other fights will feature Team Lakay stalwart Honorio “The Rock” Banario tussling with Adrian “The Hunter” Pang and Muay Thai champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao going one-on-one with French-Italian kickboxer Fabio Pinca.
“It’s an open invitation to the greatest strikers in the world,” said Chatri Sityodtong, chairman and CEO of ONE Championship. “Fans will witness the absolute elite in striking martial arts, as they go head-to-head on the biggest and most prestigious global stage of competition.”
With ONE Super Series, ONE Championship is now considered the largest martial arts organization in the world. While competing promotions do offer a similar product, Sityodtong said they only offer one flavor of martial arts as opposed to ONE Championship which hosts bouts across all styles of martial arts.
“Aside from the many great bouts this Friday night, what I’m most excited about is the launch of ONE Super Series. ONE Championship is the only global player to encompass all styles of martial arts,” said Sityodtong. “We have the best in all styles going up against each other. That’s definitely something to look forward to.”
Making his appearance in the co-main event of the evening, kickboxing elite Giorgio Petrosyan notes how he likes ONE Championship’s massive worldwide audience reach. Broadcast to a potential 1.7 billion on any given night to over 136 countries worldwide, ONE Super Series will harness the full potential of ONE Championship’s global influence in order to highlight the greatest in striking martial arts.
And while the promotion is gearing up for a very busy mid-year, Sityodtong teases that there are plenty more surprises to come, including the highly-anticipated launch of ONE Championship’s new mobile app, slated to arrive in the coming months.
“The new ONE Championship mobile app is a true game changer in the world of martial arts,” said Sityodtong. “Soon, fans will have access to all our blockbuster live events and complete library of Hi-Definition content in the palm of their hands, all for free, and you can watch from anywhere in the world. It’s going to take ONE Championship to the next level.”
Sityodtong also revealed plans to establish a professional boxing league in addition to ONE Super Series, inviting the greatest boxers from the Philippines and around the world to join the promotion.
Also in attendance at the press conference were main card competitors Honorio “The Rock” Banario of Team Lakay, opponent Adrian “The Hunter” Pang of Australia, as well as various ONE Championship athletes who mixed in with the crowd and participated in the festivities.
ONE: Heroes of Honor goes down this Friday, 20 April, at the Mall of Asia Arena. Gates open at 6:30 PM local time. – Rappler.com
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