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Kevin Belingon defeats Bibiano Fernandes to become Undisputed ONE Bantamweight World Champion

For the first time in five years, ONE Championship will have a new bantamweight king.  Team Lakay star Kevin "The Silencer" Belingon did what no man has done in 14 fights, defeating Bibiano Fernandes via split decision to become the new, undisputed ONE Bantamweight World Champion in the main event of ONE: Heart of The Lion, Friday evening at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.  It was a highly-anticipated rematch of their 2016 encounter that saw Fernandes submit Belingon in the first round. Being one of the most dangerous grapplers in the world, it was no surprise that Fernandes wanted to take the fight to the ground and work towards a submission, and the Brazilian champion wasted no time in taking Belingon down. Belingon managed to survive and got back up to get the better of Fernandes in the stand-up department.  A solid overhand right from Fernandes rocked Belingon early in round two, but the Pinoy again wills himself back up and lands a hard kick to the body.  Later in the round, Fernandes again brought the fight to the ground and swiftly took Belingon's back, threatening to finish the fight with a rear naked choke.  Belingon survived but found himself back in trouble after Fernandes locked in an armbar.  Showcasing his ever-improving ground game, Belingon fought off the armbar and wound up on top of Fernandes.  From there, Belingon unloaded a cascade of ground and pound, but was unable to get the finish, leaving Fernandes woozy.  After a slow third round, action picked back up in the fourth, with Fernandes again getting Belingon down, but not mounting any significant offense from the dominant position.  Belingon rolls out, but gets caught in an armbar once again, and manages to spin out once more.  The Filipino striker ended the fourth round on a strong note, dropping Fernandes with a well-timed counter right that sent "The Flash" stumbling backwards.  The final round saw both fighters go back and forth, each trying to sway the judges' decision in their favor. At the end of five rounds, it was the Filipino star who earned the split decision nod to become ONE Championship's undisputed bantamweight king.  Belingon puts a halt to Fernandes' remarkable 14-fight winning streak that spanned nearly seven years.  More importantly, it snaps Fernandes' five-year reign as ONE Bantamweight World Champion. He joins teammates ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje Eustaquio and ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio as Team Lakay's current reigning ONE World Champions.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnNov 9th, 2018

ONE Championship: Kevin Belingon vs. Bibiano Fernandes 3 added to massive ONE card in Tokyo

ONE Championship's maiden trip to Japan just got a lot bigger, as chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong announced the addition of another blockbuster world championship bout to the already massive fight card.  Just days after the first trilogy match in ONE Championship between Geje Eustaquio and Adriano Moraes went down, Sityodtong announced that reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin "The Silencer" Belingon of Team Lakay will be putting his title up for grabs against the promotion's longest-reigning bantamweight king, Brazilian mixed martial arts star Bibiano "The Flash" Fernandes in what will be part three of their storied rivalry.  2016 was the first time that Belingon and Fernandes shared the cage, with then-ONE Bantamweight World Champion Fernandes successfully defending his title against the Filipino striker via first-round submission.  In November of 2018, Belingon exacted revenge as he edged out Fernandes via split decision to become the undisputed ruler of the bantamweight division and end the Brazilian icon's near-seven year winning streak and five-year reign as ONE Bantamweight World Champion.  On March 31st in Tokyo, Belingon and Fernandes clash once more with the title on the line again.  The Belingon-Fernandes rubber becomes the fourth world championshp match at ONE: A New Era, with the main event being a highly-anticipated rematch for the ONE Lightweight World Championship between Team Lakay's Eduard "Landslide" Folayang and Japan's own former ONE champion Shinya Aoki.  The other world title bouts on the card are Xiong Jing Nan of China defending her ONE Women's Strawweight World Championship against ONE Women's Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee of Singapore, and Aung La N Sang of Myanmar defending his ONE Middleweight World Championship against Japan's Ken Hasegawa.  Also on the card, two of ONE's biggest acquisitions to date finally make their debuts, as former UFC and Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie "The Underground King" Alvarez faces hard-hitting Russian Timofey Nastyukhin in a ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix quarterfinals match up, while former long-time UFC Flyweight World Champion and top-ranked pound-for-pound fighter Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson meets Japanese striker Yuya Wakamatsu in a ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix quarterfinals match up.  ONE: A New Era is set to take place at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 27th, 2019

Top sports headliners in the year that was

From the FIFA World Cup to the NBA, the PBA to the UAAP and NCAA, the Asian Games to Manny Pacquiao, volleyball to MMA, the past 12 months truly was a great year for Filipino sports fans.   Here are some of the most memorable sports headliners that bannered the year that was.    San Miguel Corporation dominates PBA San Miguel Corporation owned 2018. For the first time in the history of the Asia’s first professional basketball league one company dominated all three conferences of the PBA. The San Miguel Beermen annexed their fourth straight Philippine Cup title against sister team Magnolia last May, while Ginebra rode on undersized do-it-all forward Justin Brownlee to the Commissioner's Cup title at the expense of San Miguel last August. Then it was Magnolia's time to shine in December. The Hotshots dismantled Alaska in six games to complete SMC’s domination of PBA 2018. Outside of basketball, SMC also made its presence felt in volleyball as Petron bagged the Grand Prix, Challenge Cup (beach volleyball) and the All-Filipino Conference in the Philippine Superliga.   Kai Sotto stands tall as Ateneo takes title vs NU Kai Sotto became a household name in 2018 as the 7'1" wunderkind showed off in the UAAP Season 80 juniors' basketball tournament. The eventual Finals MVP was a beast in Game 1 of the Finals against the NU Bullpups, tallying a triple-double of 22 points, 16 rebounds, and 11 blocks in the 86-70 win, the first of its kind since 2003. Ateneo finished the season almost unscathed at 16-1, with their lone loss in Game 2 of the series, a very chippy one to say the least. In Game 3, Sotto came up clutch, scoring the go-ahead basket, 60-58, with about 30 seconds left as Ateneo came away with the 63-58 win to take the title.  SJ Belangel, Joaqui Manuel, Dave Ildefonso and Jason Credo, and coach Joe Silva all appeared in their last games for the Blue Eaglets.   DLSU completes three-peat; NU dethrones Ateneo  The UAAP Season 80 volleyball tournament was filled with lasting memories that will surely be remembered for a long time. Numerous upsets in the eliminations, great games, and much more were the name of the game for the women's tournament. However, a long-time rivalry was rekindled when two-time defending champs De La Salle Lady Spikers met 29-time title holders FEU Lady Tamaraws for all the marbles last May. Kim Kianna Dy, Majoy Baron, and Dawn Macandili all ended their careers on a high note as they swept graduating Bernadeth Pons and the Lady Tamaraws in two straight games to win their third straight title. Graduating libero Macandili was named Finals MVP for the first and final time in her collegiate career.  Behind their magnificent floor defense and some stellar play from Finals MVP Bryan Bagunas, the NU Bulldogs also swept three-time defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles to reclaim a title they last enjoyed in Season 76. Espejo, a five-time UAAP MVP, had an awesome performance for the world's record books, scoring a record-55 points to force the FEU Tamaraws to a do-or-die Final Four. The Blue Eagle legend had played his last, and has since suited up for a semi-pro team in Japan's topflight volleyball league.   Alab fends off Mono Vampire to claim ABL title San Miguel-backed Alab Pilipinas were such a glorious sight to see in the eighth season of the Asean Basketball League (ABL) last March. Coached by perennial fan favorite Jimmy Alapag in his very first season, the trio of Renaldo Balkman, Justin Brownlee, and Local and Finals MVP Bobby Ray Parks to their first title in home soil. Alab faced Thailand-based Mono Vampire, who were led by Mike Singletary, towering Sam Deguara, Fil-Am Jason Brickman and Pinoy Paul Zamar. In the very same day as the coronation of the UAAP volleyball championships, Alab took home the crown in a rousing 102-92 victory in Sta. Rosa, much to the delight of the home crowd. Balkman, the league's Defensive Player of the Year led Alab in scoring with 32, while Brownlee added 24 of his own. Parks added 13 markers. The two imports played in the PBA for the Commissioner's Cup, where Balkman (San Miguel) and Brownlee (Ginebra) would face each other in the Finals.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) Warriors send LeBron packing to Los Angeles The Golden St. Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers locked horns in the NBA Finals for the fourth straight season after the two teams were pushed to the brink in the Conference Finals. Both teams were down 3-2 and won Game 7 on the road to win their respective conferences, with both teams banking on experience to forge another bout in the championship series. Game 1 was undoubtedly the most exciting game in the series as LeBron James had an epic performance of 51 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists.  However, JR Smith's blunder at the end of regulation became the lasting image of that game, as he dribbled out the clock with the score tied at 107-all. The defending champions rode the surge and took the opening game, 124-114. Stephen Curry's brillant performance throughout the series was overshadowed by Kevin Durant's dagger in Game 3, a few feet away from the spot where he launched the go-ahead three in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals. Durant was named as the Bill Russell Finals MVP after norming 28.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg, and 7.5 apg in the four-game sweep, demolishing the Cavs 108-85 in the series finale last June. It would also be the last game LeBron James had in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform, as he bolted for the Los Angeles Lakers almost a month later.   (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) France rules 2018 FIFA World Cup The most-coveted title of the beautiful game returned to France after two decades. The youthful French squad celebrated their conquest soaked in a downpour in Moscow after a 4-2 victory over first-time finalist Croatia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup last July. Teenager Kylian Mbappe stood out in the French team composed of a bunch of 25 and under players. Speed, strength and youth became France’s biggest asset during the quadrennial football spectacle watched by almost 3.5 billion viewers around the world.  The 19-year-old migrant scored one of the four goals in the championship match to become the second teen to score a goal in the Finals after the legendary Pele back in 1958. France defeated Belgium in the semifinal, 1-0, while Croatia outlasted the favored Russians in penalty shootout, 4-3 (2-2). The French team also displayed diversity, with players born of migrant parents including Alphonse Areola, whose parents are both Filipinos working in France.   Pac on top, The Filipino Flash returns The most-celebrated Filipino athlete continued make the headlines this year. Manny Pacquaio stripped Lucas Matthysse of his WBA welterweight world championship belt with a seventh round technical knockout win in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in July. Pacquiao split with long-time trainer Freddie Roach during his build up for the Matthysse bout back in April but confirmed their partnership once again for the 40-year old boxer’s title defense against Adrien Broner next year. Nonito Donaire Jr. announced that he would be going back down to super bantamweight after a loss to Carl Frampton in April for the interim WBO Featherweight belt and would be taking part in the World Boxing Super Series' super bantamweight tournament.  Matched up in the quarterfinal round against Ryan Burnett back in November, Donaire scored what many consider an upset, winning via TKO after the Irishman suffered a back injury to snatch the WBA (Super) Bantamweight World Championship.  Up next for Donaire will be WBO Super Bantamweight World Champion Zolani Tete of South Africa in the semifinals.           Pinay power in the Asian Games   The Philippines participated in the 18th Asian Games held in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia that ran from August 18 to September 2. A total of 272 athletes that participated in 31 sports represented the country in the quadrennial meet with Jordan Clarkson of the Cleveland Cavaliers and medalist Margielyn Didal marching as flagbearers in the opening and closing ceremonies, respectively. Rio Olympian Hidilyn Diaz gave the PHI its first gold medal in women’s -53 kg. weightlifting. Five days after Diaz’s victory, the trio of Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan and Lois Kaye Go accounted for the women’s golf team mint. Saso also bagged the individual gold. In Palembang, Didal rolled her way into winning the women’s street skateboard gold. The celebrated men’s basketball team started out strong after routing Kazakhstan but lost by two-points to China in the group stage. The Gilas Pilipinas squad advanced in the quarterfinals but bowed down to South Korea by nine points eventually settling for a fifth spot in the classification phase after wins over Japan and Syria. The PHI finished with a 4-2-15 gold-silver-bronze haul and landed at 19th spot, three places higher that its 2014 finish in Incheon, South Korea.      Red Lions roar, Blue Eagles soar San Beda University continued its mastery over the NCAA as it annexed its third straight title and 22nd overall. The Red Lions grabbed its 11th crown in 13 years at the expense of Lyceum of the Philippines University. It was one-sided championship series – just like in their Finals meeting last year – with the San Beda ripping the Pirates apart in Game One with LPU playing sans its best player in CJ Perez, who was banned for one game after failing to notify the league of his intention to join the PBA Draft. Perez returned in Game 2 but even his presence didn’t stop the Red Lions from painting the NCAA red once again. In probably one of the most memorable UAAP season in recent years, Ateneo de Manila University won its second straight crown. Ivorian tower and Rookie of the Year 6-foot-11 Ange Kouame made an immediate impact for the Blue Eagles complementing the already stacked Ateneo squad led by Finals MVP Thirdy Ravena. But the glory of Ateneo was overshadowed by the Cinderalla story of the team it vanquished in the Finals. Climbing up from the cellar in the past years, University of the Philippines made history by making it in the Finals for the first time since winning it all in 1986. But before their championship stint, the Fighting Maroons ended a two-decade Final Four drought. UP then shocked twice-to-beat Adamson University with both games decided by game-winners. Ateneo came in the series as the title favorites but overwhelming support from a very hungry UP community and underdogs fans backed the Fighting Maroons. But in the end, it was the Blue Eagles championship experience that prevailed.       Pinoys make wave in MMA Fighters under Team Lakay flexed their muscles in One Championship. Flyweight star Geje Eustaquio opened the year with an interim championship win over former champion Kairat Akhmetov in Manila back in January. Eustaquio then defeated two-time champion Adriano Moraes in Macau last July to become the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion.  Joshua Pacio earned the ONE Strawweight World Championship last September after a unanimous decision win over two-time champion Japanese Yoshitaka Naito. Kevin Belingon dropped former world title challenger Andrew Leone with a now-famous spinning back kick in April. He followed it up with a dominating win over then-two division world champion Martin Nguyen to capture the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion. Belingon ended the five-year reign and seven-year winning streak of of long-time bantamweight king Brazilian Bibiano Fernandes in November via split decision.  Eduard Folayang outclassed Singaporean contender Amir Khan at ONE: Conquest of Champions in Manila in early December to bag the ONE Lightweight World Championship for the second time in his storied career.  BRAVE Combat Federation Bantamweight World Champion Stephen Loman successfully defended his title twice in 2018.  Reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera needed only 64 seconds to knockout hard-hitting Italian challenger Mauro Cerilli in Manila early December to remain the king of the ONE Championship heavyweight kingdom.    Petron, Creamline rule respective club leagues Creamline claimed its breakthrough championship in the Premier Volleyball League by sweeping PayMaya in the Reinforced Conference Finals series last July. Alyssa Valdez finally ended a two-year title drought with the Cool Smashers' victory. Creamline opposite hitter Michele Gumabao was named Miss Globe-Philippines during the Binibining Pilipinas 2018 last March. Gumabao represented the country in the 2018 Miss Globe in Albania last October and won the Miss Social Media and Dream Girl awards while landing a spot in the Top 15.     The Cool Smashers completed a sweep of the PVL’s Season 2 after claiming the Open Conference crown at the expense of Ateneo-Motolite via an emphatic series sweep this month. In the Philippine Superliga, Petron reigned supreme in the Grand Prix after taking down archrival F2 Logistics last May. Petron extended its supremacy in the sands after the tandem of Sisi Rondina and Bernadethn Pons defeated Dhannylaine Demontano and Jackielyn Estoquia of Sta. Lucia in the Challenge Cup final last May. The Cargo Movers got its revenge in the Invitational Cup, toppling the Blaze Spikers in a series sweep last July. Petron wrapped the year with the All-Filipino Conference in its pocket. The Blaze Spikers won its first 14 games before dropping Game 2 of the Finals. Petron swept F2 Logistics in Game 3......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2018

ONE Championship: Mark Sangiao looks to carry over Team Lakay s success in 2019

2018 will be over and done in a few days, but it will be remembered as the banner year of the legendary Team Lakay.   Widely associated with the local mixed martial arts scene in the Philippines due to the big number of notable homegrown talents that it has produced since its inception in 2003, Team Lakay has reached new heights in 2018 as it now houses four world champions under the ONE Championship banner.   Since the beginning of the year, the legendary camp from Baguio City, Benguet has been on an extraordinary run in the organization.   Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio kicked off the year for Team Lakay by copping the ONE Interim Flyweight World Championship with a unanimous decision victory over Kazakhstan’s Kairat Akhmetov in a rematch this past January.   Eustaquio was enshrined as the undisputed flyweight kingpin of the promotion five months later when he edged out Brazilian arch-nemesis Adriano Moraes in a world title unification bout.   It was followed by Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, who had his first taste of gold last July when he routed two-division titleholder Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen by way of clear-cut unanimous decision for the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship.   Belingon became ONE Championship’s official bantamweight champion by defeating longtime division ruler Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes via split decision in their highly-anticipated title unification rematch last November.   Meanwhile, Joshua “The Passion” Pacio settled the score with Yoshitaka Naito in September, dethroning his Japanese rival by unanimous decision to bring home the ONE Strawweight World Championship.   Eduard Folayang joined Eustaquio, Belingon and Pacio in the cast of Team Lakay world titleholders, recapturing the ONE Lightweight World Championship at the expense of Singapore’s Amir Khan this past November.   Speaking on behalf of his teammates, Folayang believes that Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao played a pivotal role in their success.   “Coach Mark should have a belt,” Folayang said. “We are a good team because we have a brilliant and selfless coach who supports us all the way.”   At the peak of his professional career in 2010, Sangiao opted to hang up his gloves for good to focus on coaching Folayang and other members of Team Lakay.   Although he had to make the ultimate sacrifice of calling it a career at the age of 30, Sangiao disclosed that there is no tinge of regret in his decision, especially after seeing what his athletes have become.   “When I see these belts, I know that my sacrifice was worth it. I feel that I’m also a champion,” the Team Lakay headmaster stated. “I decided to retire eight years ago. I’m a positive guy, so I don’t regret my decision to retire. I’m very happy with it.”   Finishing their campaign with four world titles in ONE Championship, Sangiao acknowledges that 2018 is Team Lakay’s most successful year so far.   “It’s our biggest year. We won titles and received many awards this year. This is the result of our hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. These awards and titles are just the fruit of our hard labor,” he mentioned.   With the achievements that they are presently basking in, Sangiao conceded that not even in his wildest dream did he expect Team Lakay to be highly acclaimed in the sport or reach its present stature.   “When I started this group in 2003, I did not even think that it would get to this. All I thought at the time was that I liked what I was doing,” he remembered. “I am happy with the outcome of my passion.”   It appears that everything Team Lakay lays its hands on turns into gold, but for Sangiao, this is only the tip of the iceberg.   “It’s only the beginning. There is more to come. We look forward to defending our belts and prevailing as champions for a long time,” he declared.   Sangiao may be looking to carry over Team Lakay’s success into 2019, but he knows that it will be no walk in the park.   “We had an amazing run in 2018. With all of the titles that we won, we have a big target on our back. Tougher challenges await us next year. Like we always say, we will do our best,” he expressed.   Pacio, Eustaquio and Folayang are all booked to defend their respective world titles in the first quarter of 2019.   Team Lakay may have cemented its position as a global force in mixed martial arts in 2018, but Sangiao assured that he and his wards are not resting on their laurels.   "This is definitely the best year for us, but of course, we will not stop. We have to keep on improving and defend those belts,” he vowed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 27th, 2018

Filipino star Kevin Belingon hailed as ONE Championship’s 2018 Warrior of the Year

2018 has been nothing but spectacular for Philippine-based mixed martial arts stable Team Lakay. The humble gym located in the La Trinidad, Benguet has, in 2018 alone, produced four world champions under the ONE Championship banner. Veteran Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio became the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion in Macau, China back in June, while young star Joshua “The Passion” Pacio captured the ONE Strawweight World Championship in Jakarta, Indonesia back in September. Arguably the biggest star in Philippine mixed martial arts today, Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, became a two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion after dominating Amir Khan in Manila,  Philippines back in early-December. Rounding out the four world champions from Team Lakay is none other than Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, who completed a long road to the ONE Bantamweight World Championship. While Eustaquio, Pacio, and Folayang all had impressive runs in 2018, Belingon’s year was arguably the most dominant. Already riding an impressive four-fight winning streak dating back to 2016, Belingon kicked 2018 off with a dominant performance over former world championship contender Andrew Leone, obliterating the American wrestler with a spinning back-kick heard ‘round the world. Many believed that Belingon had already earned another crack at the world championship, then held by Brazilian submission ace Bibiano Fernandes. Fernandes however, was still injured at the time and had no timetable for a return. Belingon instead drew Vietnamese-Australian two-division world champion Martin Nguyen - who was hunting for a third world title in as many divisions - for the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship. In July at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Belingon and Nguyen squared off in an exciting five-round war and in the end, it was the faster Pinoy star who earned the unanimous decision nod. The win finally secured Belingon a rematch with Fernandes and a shot at the ONE Bantamweight World Championship. While Belingon has improved exponentially since their first encounter back in 2016, the Team Lakay star was considered an underdog. Fernandes, after all, had not tasted defeat since 2010, and was riding a five year reign as the ONE bantamweight king. Many have tried and all have failed to dethrone “The Flash” from his place atop the bantamweight division, Belingon included. At ONE: Heart of the Lion in Singapore however, Belingon made sure that history would not repeat itself. Banking on superior striking and a much-improved grappling skillset, Belingon survived multiple submission attempts and dictated the pace in the standup department for much of the five-round affair. In the end, Belingon earned the split decision nod, and had accomplished what no one else has in ONE Championship, and that’s defeat Fernandes. It was Belingon’s stellar 2018 campaign that earned him the nod for ONE Championship’s 2018 Warrior of the Year, beating out the likes of reigning ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang of Myanmar, reigning ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan, former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki, and Team Lakay stablemate and reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang. Of the four ONE world champions from Team Lakay, only Belingon has yet to be scheduled for a title defense, with all three of his brothers set to put their titles up for grabs in 2019. The smart money would be on a trilogy match with Fernandes for the title in 2019......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 24th, 2018

Kings of the World: Team Lakay s dominance highlights 2018 in Mixed Martial Arts

As always, 2018 offered up another year's worth of memorable moments from the world of mixed martial arts.  From the East to the West, the world's fastest growing sport found a way into sports headlines, and here are some of the biggest stories inside and out of the cage from the past twelve months.    "CHAMPIONS ARE NOT BORN, THEY ARE MADE" 2018 definitely belonged to famed Filipino mixed martial arts stable Team Lakay.  The humble La Trinidad, Benguet-based gym has established themselves as the top team in the Philippines for the past few years, but in 2018, they cemented their status as one of the best in the world.  Building off their elite-level striking skills and continuously-improving grappling accumen, the boys from Baguio City dominated Singapore-based MMA promotion ONE Championship, capturing four world championships in just a span of a single year.  Flyweight star Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio opened the year with an interim championship win over former champion Kairat Akhmetov in Manila back in January. Six months later, Eustaquio dropped the "interim" tag by defeating two-time champion Adriano Moraes in Macau to become the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion.  After putting together a tremendous winning streak, young strawweight star Joshua "The Passion" Pacio earned a well-deserved rematch for the ONE Strawweight World Championship against two-time champion Yoshitaka "Nobita" Naito. Back in September, Pacio erased the bitter memory of his previous defeat against Naito two years prior by stifling the Japanese submission specialist with impeccable grappling defense to earn a unanimous decision win and capture the strawweight crown in Jakarta. Much like his stablemate Eustaquio, Kevin "The Silencer" Belingon had to go through two world champions to take his place at the top of the bantamweight division. After blasting former world title challenger Andrew Leone with a now-famous spinning back kick in April, Belingon dominated then-two division world champion Martin Nguyen to become the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion and finally earn a long-awaited rematch with long-time bantamweight king Bibiano Fernandes. In November, Belingon did what no other man in ONE has done and defeated Bibiano Fernandes via split decision to become the undisputed ONE Bantamweight World Champion, ending Fernandes' seven-year winning streak and five-year reign as ONE world champion.  Capping off Team Lakay's spectacular 2018 campaign was the return to glory of arguably the biggest homegrown MMA star in the country, Eduard "Landslide" Folayang. After losing his title twelve months prior, Folayang put on a masterclass against dangerous Singaporean contender Amir Khan at ONE: Conquest of Champions in Manila in early December to once again capture the ONE Lightweight World Championship for the second time in his storied career.  Outside the ONE Championship banner, another world champion from Team Lakay continues to reign, as BRAVE Combat Federation Bantamweight World Champion Stephen "The Sniper" Loman successfully defended his title twice in 2018.    THE TRUTH RETURNS Speaking of Filipino world champions, the biggest one of them all finally made his return in 2018.  After a two-year absence due to outside commitments, reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon "The Truth" Vera made his way back to the cage, and his comeback was nothing short of explosive.  Taking on the hard-hitting Italian challenger Mauro Cerilli in Manila last December 7th, Vera needed only 64 seconds to dispatch Cerilli via knockout and remain the king of the ONE Championship heavyweight kingdom.    NOTORIOUS Conor "The Notorious" McGregor was arguably the biggest combat sports star of 2017, after crossing over to boxing and facing off against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the year's biggest combat sports event.  In 2018, the Notorious one was all over the headlines once again.  In April of 2018, McGregor was stripped of the UFC Lightweight World Championship due to inactivity.  Earlier that month, the Irish star was at the forefront of a backstage melee during the UFC 223 media day in Brooklyn, New York that saw McGregor hurl a dolly at a bus full of fighters, leading to a number of minor injuries. McGregor would later be slapped with charges due to the attack.  In August, it was announced that McGregor would be making his return to the Octagon to challenge reigning lightweight king Khabib "The Eagle" Nurmagomedov, who was the initial target of McGregor's backstage bus attack earlier that year.     "I COME FOR SMASH THIS GUY" The drama-filled leadup to the UFC Lightwieght World Championship bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor made it no doubt one of the most anticipated matches of the year, and when the two were finally locked inside the Octagon, it didn't disappoint.  Nurmagomedov ultimately imposed his will, grounding McGregor for three rounds, before finishing the Irishman off in the fourth round with a rear-naked choke to remain unbeaten and retain the UFC's 155-pound strap.  What happened after, however, overshadowed everything that came before it.  After forcing McGregor to tap out, Nurmagomedove scaled the Octagon fence and jumped out to the crowd to confront Dillon Danis, McGregor's grappling coach.  It didn't take long for mayhem to ensue, as chaos broke out inside and out of the cage.  Both Nurmagomedov and McGregor have been suspended indefinitely, with the final hearing, which will decide the fate of the two fighters, expected to take place this month.    THE HOME OF MARTIAL ARTS Since ONE Championship's inception in 2011, it has primarily operated as a mixed martial arts promotion. In the past years, ONE has put on grappling superfights and special martial arts bouts.  In 2018 however, ONE took it to a whole new level by introducing the ONE Super Series back in April, which features Muay Thai and kickboxing bouts.  The new wrinkle has attracted some of the world's best strikers, including Giorgio Petrosyan, Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex, Andy Souwer, Cosmo Alexandre, and many more.  ONE also dipped their foot in boxing, bringing in reigning WBC Super Flyweight World Champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai as the headliner for ONE's October card in Bangkok, where he successfully defended his title against Mexican challenger Iran Diaz in front of a raucous hometown crowd at the Impact Arena.    "DC" ALSO STANDS FOR "DOUBLE CHAMP"  No other fighter has had a better 2018 than Daniel "DC" Cormier.  After being named the UFC Light Heavyweight World Champion after Jon Jones tested positive for banned substances during their 2017 title bout, Cormier successfully defended the 205-pound belt against Volkan Oezdemir.  Six months later, Cormier jumped up to heavyweight and shocked the world by knocking out the once-dominant champion Stipe Miocic to become just the fifth two-division world champion and the second simultaneous two-division world champion in UFC history.  In November, DC made even more history by becoming just the first fighter in UFC history to successfully defend world titles in two weight divisions after submitting Derrick Lewis in the second round.    BIG STARS HEAD EAST Asian mixed martial arts giant ONE Championship made worldwide MMA news in 2018 after snagging a handful of big name talents in former UFC and Bellator Lightweight World Champion Eddie "The Underground King" Alvarez, former long-time UFC Flyweight World Champion and pound-for-pound great Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson, and former UFC lightweight and welterweight standout  "Super" Sage Northcutt.  Alvarez and Northcutt signed with ONE after their UFC contracts had expired, while Johnson made his way to ONE via the first-ever trade in MMA history, which sent former ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben "Funky" Askren to the UFC.  All three stars are set to make their debuts in 2019.  Aside from bringing in top-tier athletes, ONE also brought in another big name to fill an executive spot, with former UFC and Strikeforce Women's Bantamweight World Champion Miesha Tate coming in as a Vice President. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 22nd, 2018

ONE Championship: Kevin Belingon looks back at momentous title win over Bibiano Fernandes

Filipino spitfire Kevin "The Silencer" Belingon is living the dream after he successfully dethroned Bibiano "The Flash" Fernandes to be hailed as the one and only king of ONE Championship's stacked bantamweight division.   Belingon utilized his explosive strikes and improved grappling to overcome Fernandes en route to a razor-thin split decision win in the main event of ONE: HEART OF THE LION last November.   The victory realized Belingon's dream of becoming the undisputed ONE Bantamweight World Champion.   "It really felt like a dream to me. We had worked so hard to reach that point. It didn’t sink in at first, but when it did, I felt accomplished," he shared.   Despite having his hand raised in triumph at the expense of perhaps the most dominant champion in the history of the promotion, it came with a hefty price as he had the scars and bruises to prove it as soon as the bout was over.   "I was pretty banged up. My foot was swollen from all the kicks that I landed,” The Team Lakay representative revealed. “I really poured everything I had into that one, and my team and I came up with a brilliant game plan. I think that was the key to victory."   Belingon's hard-earned victory over Fernandes was his second attempt to capture a world title as two years prior, he fell short in his bid to become the ONE Bantamweight World Champion.   In January 2016, the Brazilian legend made "The Silencer" tap by way of submission in the opening round at ONE: DYNASTY OF CHAMPIONS in Changsha, China.   Belingon had to work his way back up the ladder, defeating six top-tier opponents to secure a rematch with Fernandes.   With the latest cage meeting with Fernandes being a close one, Belingon stressed that he is more than willing to give his arch-nemesis a shot at his gold-plated strap.   "We are tied at one win apiece, so a third bout to determine the true winner does make sense. I know he is clamoring for a rematch,” he stated. “I know he thinks he won the last one, so deep inside, I want to prove to him again that I beat him."   Belingon knows all too well that aside from Fernandes, a horde of battle-tested martial artists are also coming for his intricately-crafted hardware.   “I’m just enjoying the time off right now. But of course, I’m open to fighting Bibiano again, or anyone that ONE Championship puts in front of me," he affirmed.   However, if Belingon will be given the option to choose an opponent, a rubber match against Fernandes is clearly the obvious choice for the Baguio City-based knockout artist.   "Our second bout was an exciting match," he quipped. "We can do it again. The fans will love it.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 19th, 2018

ONE Championship: Former champ Bibiano Fernandes believes pro-Pinoy crowd helped sway judges in title bout against Belingon

For the first time in five years, ONE Championship has a new undisputed bantamweight world champion in Team Lakay star Kevin "The Silencer" Belingon.  Belingon did the near unthinkable at ONE: Heart of the Lion in Singapore last November 9th when he edged out former long-time champion Bibiano "The Flash" Fernandes via split decision.  It was Fernandes' first loss in 14 bouts and his first loss in ONE Championship.  The 38-year old Brazilian star believes that, while it was indeed a close battle, he deserved to still be the champion at the end of the five-round war.  “When I look at the ONE judging criteria, what they count more, it’s near knockout or submission first, and then damage, control," Fernandes told MMAFighting.com's Guilherme Cruz. "When I saw it, I knew I won this fight. I almost submitted him three times. That punch he landed, I threw a kick and only had one foot on the ground when it hit me, so I lost balance. I waited for him to come, grabbed his leg and came back up. I know I won this fight.” Aside from going against Belingon, Fernandes believes that he had to deal with the strong Filipino contingent in the crowd as well.  Belingon was the clear crowd favorite inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium that night, and Fernandes says it may have had a hand in swaying the judges' decision.  "Thousands of fans there, and I think half of them were Filipinos,” Fernandes explained. “I was alone there against Kevin, the judges and the fans. Anything he did would drive the crowd nuts. If I lose, I lose, I don’t cry about it, but I think the judges were affected by the fans. I’m a fighter and I do my best, but I can’t fight against the judges and the fans.” Now, Fernandes is looking at an immediate rematch, something that he says is in his ONE Championship contract. The new champ believes that this is the most likely scenario as well.  The Belingon-Fernandes rematch will likely take place in 2019, when Belingon has completely healed from his injuries.  “I can fight tomorrow, but Kevin can’t. I saw him afterwards and he couldn’t even walk, so I have to respect his recovery, his rest, let him enjoy the belt because he fought bravely, too.” said Fernandes. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 14th, 2018

ONE Championship: Kevin Belingon determined to change World Champion status from ‘interim’ to ‘undisputed’

Filipino spitfire Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon is due to lock horns with Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes in a highly-anticipated bantamweight title unification bout at ONE: HEART OF THE LION, set for the Singapore Indoor Stadium on 9 November. Belingon and Fernandes first squared off inside the ONE Championship cage in January of 2016, with the latter pulling off a quick submission victory, but the Team Lakay man now has his long-awaited shot at redemption. “I am super excited. Finally, the long wait is over, and now I’m fighting Bibiano Fernandes for the undisputed bantamweight title. Ever since the night I lost to him the first time in China, this moment has been all that I have looked forward to,” Belingon stated. Since yielding to Fernandes over two years ago, the 31-year-old native of Kiangan, Ifugao steamrolled six top contenders in ONE Championship’s talent-filled 65.8-kilogram weight class. This includes a match that, in theory, he did not have to accept, but one which undoubtedly secured him a date with his Brazilian rival. In front of his home crowd in July, Belingon defeated two-division world champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen via unanimous decision to capture the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Title. “Every opponent, every challenge that I have faced since then, has brought me here. This is what I have worked extremely hard for,” Belingon stated.  “This is a career-defining bout for me. I am laser-focused on coming into this fight in the best shape ever, and I am working hard on my preparations.” Belingon feels that his journey to this point has been worthwhile, and now that he has a belt around his waist, he wants to unify the world titles and avenge the defeat. “He has been on my mind for more than two years now,” he explained. “I have upgraded my skills where necessary. This time around, things will be different. I am a completely different fighter. I know the mistakes I made in the first bout. This is my chance to erase that memory.” With another opportunity to showcase his maturity as a competitor, Belingon hopes to join Team Lakay comrade Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio as one of the few athletes under the promotion’s banner to unify two world titles to become an undisputed champion. “I know that nothing will get easier, and I have to work twice as hard to prepare for the biggest bout of my life. I am driven to become the undisputed champion on the 9th of November.  “See you inside the cage, Bibiano,” he ended......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 1st, 2018

Rematch Kings: Team Lakay continues to reign supreme in high-stakes rematch situations

One of the things that the past year has proven is that Team Lakay knows how to make the most of a second opportunity, even more so when the stakes are at their absolute highest.   In 2018, the Benguet-based warriors have found themselves in rematches with championships on the line thrice, and each time, they have come out with gold wrapped around their waists. Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio kicked off the year with a rematch against former ONE Flyweight World Champion Kairat Akhmetov in January, a do-over of their controversial 2017 meeting that saw Akhmetov win via split decision. With the ONE Interim Flyweight World Championship on the line in their second encounter, Eustaquio bested Akhmetov via unanimous decision to avenge his 2017 loss, but more importantly become a world champion for the first time. In June of the same year, Eustaquio found himself in yet another rematch, this time against then-reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes in a title-unification bout. Again, when it mattered most, Eustaquio pulled out all the stops and outworked Moraes en route to a five-round unanimous decision victory to leave Macau, China as the new undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion. “They say victory is sweeter the second time around,” said Eustaquio, who has earned the moniker of “The King of the Rematch”, “In my case, I usually perform better and come out victorious in rematches because I’ve already gotten a feel for my opponent.” “I also believe that my development is faster than that of my opponent, which is why I outperform them when we share the cage again,” he added. The flyweight star has won all three of his career rematches so far, including one non-title rematch against Thailand’s Anatpong “Mak” Bunrad. But it is not just Eustaquio who has found success the second time around. Just last 22 September in Jakarta, Indonesia, strawweight star Joshua “The Passion” Pacio triumphantly avenged the first loss of his career by edging out Japanese grappling sensation Yoshitaka Naito via unanimous decision after five rounds to be crowned the new ONE Strawweight World Champion. It was a rematch of their 2016 encounter for the strawweight title, which resulted in a third-round submission win for Naito. Before the year comes to a close, one more Team Lakay member will figure in his own rematch with a world championship at stake. Hoping to follow in his teammates’ footsteps is reigning ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, who meets reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano Fernandes in a title-unification bout at ONE: HEART OF THE LION on Friday, 9 November in Singapore. More than finally capturing a world title, Belingon is determined to even the score with Fernandes, who was dominant in their first encounter back in 2016. “I am super excited. Finally the long wait is over, and now I’m fighting Bibiano Fernandes for the undisputed bantamweight title. Ever since the night I lost to him the first time in China, this moment has been all that I have looked forward to,” Belingon expressed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 5th, 2018

ONE Championship: Eduard Folayang gets ONE Lightweight World Championship shot in Manila this November

Team Lakay lightweight star Eduard Folayang will have the opportunity to become a two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion when meets Singaporean Amir Khan for the vacant world title on ONE Championship's November card in Manila.  ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong took to Facebook to make the massive announcement regarding lightweight crown.  "I am excited to announce that Eduard Landslide Folayang and Amir Khanwill face each other for the ONE Lightweight World Championship on November 23 in Manila!" Sityodtong's post read. "The stakes could not be any higher for both warriors in what will be the biggest fight of their careers. Eduard wants to reclaim his title and go down as the greatest Filipino martial artist in history. Amir wants to become Singapore's first homegrown World Champion in history, and stamp his legacy as the greatest Singaporean martial artist the world has ever seen." The announcment comes just days after it was revealed that two-division champion Martin Nguyen was forced to relinquish the title after an injury left him unable to defend the title.  (READ: Martin Nguyen relinquishes ONE Lightweight World Championship) The 33-year old Folayang first captured the ONE title back in 2016 with a third-round destruction of long-time champion and Japanese MMA legend Shinya Aoki in Singapore. Folayang would lose the title to Nguyen a year later.  The Team Lakay star is currently riding a two-fight winning streak with back-to-back unanimous decision wins over a pair of gritty Russian grapplers.  The 23-year old Khan on the other hand, is coming of an impressive first-round submisison win over Folayang's Team Lakay teammate Honorio Banario in Shanghai, China back in early-September. Khan is also currently riding a two-fight winning streak and will be challenging for the world title for the first time in his career.  Sityodtong also clarified the decision to have Folayang and Khan battle for the title instead of putting it up for grabs during the upcoming lightweight title-eliminator bout between former champion Aoki and former world title challenger Ev Ting set for October 6th in Bangkok, Thailand.  "On a related note, we did debate making the October 6 bout between Ev Ting and Shinya Aoki a world title bout, but decided against it. They have both spent months preparing for a 3 round non-title fight, and it would have been unfair to ask them to do a 5 round title fight on such short notice." He would go on to announce that the winner of the Folayang-Khan contest will face the winner of the Aoki-Ting with the world title on the line in Japan in 2019.  "Barring any injuries or unforeseen circumstances, I fully expect the winner between Ev and Shinya to face the winner between Eduard and Amir in Tokyo." A win for Folayang on November could mean Team Lakay's fourth undisputed world championship in 2018. Geje Eustaquio is the current reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion, while Joshua Pacio captured the ONE Strawweight World Championshp just last September in Jakarta.  ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion Kevin Belingon will have the chance to unify the titles when he takes on Bibiano Fernandes in Singapore on November 9th.  By the end of 2018, Team Lakay's trophy case could very well be laden with ONE world championship gold. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 1st, 2018

ONE: No More Detours - Kevin Belingon wants Bibiano Fernandes next

Six years since his ONE Championship debut, Team Lakay’s Kevin ‘The Silencer’ Belingon is finally a World Champion in the martial arts promotion. At ONE: REIGN OF KINGS last 27 July, in front of a partisan pro-Philippines crowd at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, Belingon defeated reigning ONE Featherweight and Lightweight World Champion Martin ‘The Situ-Asian’ Nguyen to capture the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship. For Belingon, it was a childhood dream come true. “I can’t explain this feeling. I’m the happiest athlete tonight,” Belingon said during the post-match interview. “Thank you to all the people who came out to support me, and of course to ONE Championship, my team, my coaches and trainers, and my teammates,” With the win, Belingon becomes the fifth Filipino to capture ONE World Championship gold, as he joins reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon ‘The Truth’ Vera, as well as Team Lakay stablemates in reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje ‘Gravity’ Eustaquio, former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard ‘Landslide’ Folayang, and former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio ‘The Rock’ Banario. And while making history as a world champion is indeed a prestigious feat, even more important for Belingon is that he’s finally secured his spot as the next person to challenge reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano ‘The Flash’ Fernandes. Fernandes is currently recovering from an injury, and when the most dominant champion in ONE Championship history finally returns, Belingon will be right there, waiting for his rematch. (READ ALSO: No longer just a contender, Kevin Belingon has more surprises in store for Bibiano Fernandes) “I respect [Bibiano] as a champion, but we are in the same weight class, and I am the top contender, so there is no escape in facing me. I hope you recover fast, and that we can make the fight this year.” Belingon said. Belingon and Fernandes first shared the cage back in January of 2016 at ONE: DYNASTY OF CHAMPIONS, in Changsha, China, with Fernandes retaining the title via a first-round submission win. The loss did nothing but fuel Belingon’s world championship dreams even more, and the road back to the championship picture was a long one for the 30-year old, who had to run through a gauntlet of former world title contenders and a two-division champion in a just under two years. Currently riding six straight victories dating back to October of 2016, Belingon has taken out the likes of Toni Tauru, Reece ‘Lightning’ McLaren, Andrew Leone, and Nguyen, pretty much a who’s-who in ONE Championship’s bantamweight division. “I have faced many tough opponents leading up to this interim title, and I believe I have earned my spot to face Bibiano again,” Belingon said in an interview with ONE Championship’s official website. Now, the Baguio City native has his sights firmly set on Fernandes and the ONE Bantamweight World Championship. Nothing else, no one else. “I am looking forward to our rematch. No more detours. Bibiano should be next, and I fully expect to be facing him soon.” Surely, ‘soon’ can’t fast enough for Belingon, but the reality is that he’ll have to wait for Fernandes to be cleared to compete. In the meantime however, the newly-crowned interim champion could use some time off as well, to heal up before getting back to business. He is, after all, coming off a tough five-round main event. “Right now, I am just focused on resting and healing my body. I am pretty banged up. My ankle and shin are bruised, and they need time to recover,” Belingon said. “Once everything is good to go, then I will be back in training. But for now, I am going to enjoy the rest. It still has not sunk in that I am a World Champion.” He continued. While indeed, the record books will show that Belingon has already held world championship gold, the Filipino star knows in himself that there’s still one more bit of work to be done, and that’s to avenge his loss to Fernandes and become the undisputed ONE Bantamweight World Champion. “Until I beat Bibiano, [however], I will always feel like there is unfinished business to take care of.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 7th, 2018

ONE: Kevin Belingon targeting history against Martin Nguyen as well

If making history as the first three-division world champion in mixed martial arts is what Martin Nguyen is after in his highly-anticipated encounter against Kevin Belingon, the Filipino spitfire could likewise establish a new record for the Philippines in ONE Championship should he win over his Vietnamese-Australian foe. Both men are slated to face each other in the main event of ONE: REIGN OF KINGS, which takes place at the 20,000-seater SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines on July 27. ONE Championship has raised the stakes of the scheduled five-round clash between Belingon and Nguyen as the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship will be up for grabs. If Belingon succeeds in securing the gold-plated strap at the expense of Nguyen, the Philippines will set a record of most championship wins in the seven-year history of the promotion. “The main goal for Filipino martial arts athletes like me is to bring pride, honor and glory to our country. This match against Marin Nguyen on July 27 is another opportunity to hoist the Philippine flag aloft on the world stage of this beautiful sport,” he said. To date, there have been four Filipino world champions under the ONE Championship banner since 2013. Honorio Banario became the first Philippine-rooted competitor to notch a huge prize in ONE Championship when he defeated compatriot Eric Kelly by fourth-round stoppage for the inaugural ONE Featherweight World Championship in February 2013. It was followed by Brandon Vera, who crowned himself as the first ONE Heavyweight World Champion by knocking out Paul Cheng in 26 seconds with a high kick in December 2015. Meanwhile, Eduard Folayang pulled off a major upset victory over Japanese legend Shinya Aoki in November 2016 to capture the ONE Lightweight World Championship. Geje Eustaquio joined the list of Filipino world titleholders this past January, claiming the ONE Interim Flyweight World Championship with a split decision win over Kairat Akhmetov in a rematch before becoming the undisputed division kingpin in his second meeting with Adriano Moraes last June. With the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Title on the line, having his hand raised would symbolize so much to Belingon. Ever since losing to Bibiano Fernandes for the bantamweight crown in January 2016, Belingon has won five consecutive matches, routing the best contenders that the division has to offer. For Belingon, he could finally become a mixed martial arts world champion on July 27, which is the goal that he has been chasing ever since he launched his career in June 2007. “Becoming the champion has been my goal since my career started. It is a lifelong dream for me. I need to win my next bout to turn my dream into a reality,” he stated. “This is going to be a very exciting match. To take on an elite athlete like Martin, it will only be good for my experience. I look forward to testing my skills against him,” Belingon added. Sharing the cage with a dynamic knockout artist like Nguyen, Belingon asserted that he likes his chances versus the two-division world champion and shared his thoughts as to how things would play out at ONE: REIGN OF KINGS. “Martin has very good, high-level skills. His wrestling is very strong, and so is his boxing. He is aggressive, and he punches with power. There is no underestimating this guy,” he explained. “But I think his biggest weakness is his speed, especially in this fight. He is not faster than me. I think this will come down to who gets there first.” Although he is known for his explosive striking, massive knockout power, and fearlessness to engage, Belingon assured that he is prepared to go the distance with Nguyen. “I am training very hard to make sure I am well-equipped with everything I need to face any situation. If I have the opportunity to finish him, I will not hesitate to grab that chance. But I am prepared for this fight to go full five rounds as well,” he concluded......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 18th, 2018

Eduard Folayang Relishes Chance To Defend World Title With Kevin Belingon In Japan

When ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard "Landslide" Folayang flies to Japan for ONE: A NEW ERA, he will not be doing so alone.   The Filipino mixed martial arts icon is ecstatic he will be competing on a card which will also feature his Team Lakay brother and ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin "The Silencer" Belingon, as they both are scheduled to battle a pair of legends on Sunday, 31 March at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo.   Folayang will defend his World Title against Shinya "Tobikan Judan" Aoki in the main event, while Belingon will defend his belt against Bibiano "The Flash" Fernandes on the undercard.   Just the experience of preparing for two World Title bouts in what is arguably the biggest ONE Championship card ever assembled is enough of a motivation for Folayang.   "I am very happy to headline ONE: A NEW ERA. Any athlete would want to headline this event. I am just grateful to ONE Championship for giving me this opportunity to be the main event," said Folayang.   "I have an added inspiration by having Kevin Belingon on the same card. We can share outputs with each other on how we can emerge victorious in Japan. It will be a fun night."   Team Lakay, the renowned gym from the mountains of Baguio, didn't get to start the year the way they hoped for.   Joshua "The Passion" Pacio had his ONE Strawweight World Title taken by Yosuke "Tobizaru" Saruta on 19 January by split decision in the main event of ONE: ETERNAL GLORY at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia.   Six days later, Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio dropped the ONE Flyweight World Title in front of his home crowd. He lost to his old rival Adriano "Mikinho" Moraes by way of unanimous decision in the main event of ONE: HERO'S ASCENT at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.   That is why keeping both belts in the Philippines will be integral for Folayang and Belingon, although "Landslide" admits that it's easier said than done.   "The goal is to successfully defend both belts in Japan," he confessed. "It is so easy to think and say, but it’s very hard to do. We will do our best to bring the belt back home to the Philippines.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 7th, 2019

ONE Championship: After win in Manila, Danny Kingad sets sights on Flyweight Grand Prix

It was mission accomplished for Team Lakay star Danny Kingad at ONE: Hero's Ascent, Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila.  The 22-year old flyweight earned a unanimous decision victory of Japanese veteran Tatsumitsu Wada and picked up his fourth consecutive win in a row.  Now, the former flyweight world title contender sets his sights on the upcoming ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix, since he has earned a spot in the eight-man tournament thanks to his win over Wada.  "Yung tournament, paghahandaan ko talaga yung grand prix na yun, yan yung number one na gagawin ko ngayon," Kingad told the media during the post-fight press conference. "I will go home and then go back to training." The eight-man tournament is expected to feature the best flyweight talents that ONE has to offer outside of the division's champion. Kingad is the third participant to be announced, joining former opponent Yuya Wakamatsu and newly-signed former UFC Flyweight World Champion Demetrious Johnson.  Johnson and Wakamatsu face off in the tournament's first quarterfinals matchup at ONE: A New Era in Tokyo, Japan this March.  "Nakita ko lahat nung mga mag-grand prix, kung sino man ang sunod na kalaban ko dun, Im ready for that," he added.  The young Team Lakay star believes that his next challenge will come in the form of former bantamweight title contender Reece McLaren. The Fil-Australian made a name for himself with a successful run at bantamweight, defeating the likes of Mark Striegl and Muin Gafurov to earn a title shot at then-champion Bibiano Fernandes. In his last bout at bantamweight. After back-to-back losses to Fernandes and reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin Belingon, McLaren dropped down to flyweight and has since gone on a three-fight tear, defeating Anatpong Bunrad, Gianni Subba, and most recently, Wada.  "Excited [ako para sa tournament], kasi nga Grand Prix yun, iba yung makakalaban mo talaga dun. Yung nasa pakiramdam ko na ang isusunod na makakalaro ko ay si [Reece] McLaren, yung tumalo din kay Wada," Kingad expressed. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 26th, 2019

Belingon open to ONE bantamweight title trilogy vs Fernandes

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 ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 10th, 2018

ONE Championship: Angela Lee pulled from title bout with Xiong Jing Nan due to injury

A major change has been made to this Friday's ONE: Heart of the Lion card in Singapore, as main eventer Angela Lee has been pulled from her ONE Women's Strawweight World Championship bout against reigning titleholder Xiong Jing Nan.  ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong made the announcement on his Facebook page, Monday.  "I am bummed to announce that our medical team has deemed Angela Leeunfit to compete in ONE: Heart Of The Lion for this Friday November 9," Sityodtong revealed. "As such, I have made the decision to pull Angela off the card, despite her adamance to compete still in the world title fight against Jingnan Xiong."  Further expounded on the ONE Championship website, it was a serious back injury that forced Lee to withdraw.  Lee versus Xiong would have been ONE Championship's first female champion-versus-champion superfight, with Lee moving up in weight to challenge Xiong. A win for Lee would have made her the first female two-division champion in ONE history. As such, the main event will now be the highly-anticipated title unification rematch between reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano Fernandes versus reigning ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion Kevin Belingon of Team Lakay.  Taking the co-main event spot will be Angela Lee's younger brother and former ONE Featherweight World Championship contender Christian Lee facing Japan's Kazuke Tokudome in a catchweight bout.    ONE Championship: Heart of the Lion will air LIVE on Friday, November 9th at 8:30 PM on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23!   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 5th, 2018

ONE Championship: Exchanging strikes with Kevin Belingon won’t be a problem for Bibiano Fernandes

Team Lakay’s Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon is one of the most feared strikers under the ONE Championship banner. ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes is completely aware of his tremendous knockout power ahead of their title unification contest at ONE: HEART OF THE LION. Belingon owns a number devastating stoppages inside the world's largest martial arts organization, including a one-punch knockout of Spain’s David Aranda in December 2013, and his famous spinning back kick finish of Andrew Leone this past April. Even though many believe that Belingon has the advantage in the striking department courtesy of his wushu background, Fernandes has no qualms in trading punches and kicks with the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion in their highly-anticipated rematch in Singapore on 9 November. “I’ve seen him develop as a fighter, and since the first time we met, I know how strong and explosive he is, but I just want him to know that my striking is not that bad,” he said. “I can turn the lights out when he gives me that opening.” They are set to face each other for the second time at the landmark event inside the state-of-the-art Singapore Indoor Stadium, which features two World Champion versus World Champion contests. The rematch with Belingon will be Fernandes’ ninth defense of his ONE Bantamweight World Title, an incredible run that started when he outpointed South Korea’s Soo Chul Kim in a title unification contest back in October 2013. Fernandes is known to be a world-class Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner, as eight of his 22 career wins have come by way of submission, but his ability to exchange strikes should not be underestimated. The bantamweight king has exhibited on numerous occasions that he packs power in both hands. In his July 2015 title defense, Fernandes got the job done in the third round by knocking out Finland’s Toni Tauru with one punch. He also had success in his latest battle with Martin Nguyen, wobbling the hard-hitting challenger in the final round. Fernandes, who has been training with top-notch athletes at AMC Pankration, admitted that he and his team are spending time sharpening his stand-up arsenal to compliment his exceptional Brazilian jiu-jitsu pedigree. “I always work on my strikes at the gym. As a competitor, I should be prepared in all aspects of the fight because this is mixed martial arts. This sport has a lot of elements. For big matches like this one, I always have a good striking coach in my corner,” he stated. “I don’t give a lot of power. It is all about the timing, but once it connects, it will definitely hurt. My team and I have been very dedicated to elevating my stand-up game, just like how we focus on my jiu-jitsu,” Fernandes explained further. "The Flash" stressed that he is willing to exchange strikes with Belingon, claiming that he has already figured out his Filipino rival’s style inside the cage. “He comes with the right kick on the outside and left kick inside, and he comes with the big overhand,” Fernandes mentioned. “If you want to fight standing up, I’ll fight standing up with you. I don’t fear the fight in the stand-up.” Although he has witnessed Belingon’s evolution from one-dimensional striker to well-rounded mixed martial artist first-hand, the 38-year-old grappling wizard pointed out that his ground game would still play an integral part of his offense in the rematch. “Whether it’s striking or grappling, it’s absolutely fine with me, especially against Kevin who showed tremendous growth as an athlete. “But going to the ground with me, it’s a different story. No one has solved my jiu-jitsu for the past eight years. It will always be the same for everybody.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 4th, 2018

ONE Championship: Bibiano Fernandes fully aware of Kevin Belingon s improvement

Throughout his five-year reign atop the ONE Championship Bantamweight Division, reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes of Brazil has taken on all comers, and has prevailed each time. With seven successful title defenses to his name, Fernandes is considered as the most dominant champion in ONE Championship history, setting the record for most successful title defenses in the promotion’s seven-year existence. Come Friday, 9 November at ONE: HEART OF THE LION in Singapore, Fernandes will put his title on the line once again, against a familiar opponent in reigning ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon of the Philippines. While Fernandes has already turned Belingon back before, the Brazilian star has witnessed his rival's marked improvement since their first encounter back in 2016. “Kevin Belingon has improved immensely. I have seen him grow as a competitor over the past few years,” Fernandes stated during the ONE: HEART OF THE LION global conference call. “I know that in our rematch, Kevin will be a completely different fighter.” Since falling to Fernandes via submission over two years ago, the 29-year old Belingon has been on one of the most impressive winning streaks in ONE Championship today, running through six straight opponents, four of which were former world title contenders, and taking care of business in dominant fashion. As significant as Belingon’s improvement has been, Fernandes is still very confident in his capabilities inside the cage. The defending champion is on a fourteen-match winning streak of his own and hasn’t been on the losing end of a decision since 2010. “Nevertheless, I am very confident that my skills are enough to beat him again. Yes, he is dangerous, but I will control the pace of this fight and the outcome,” Fernandes said. “I am not taking Kevin Belingon for granted, and I am training harder than ever to make sure that I triumph over his best version yet in Singapore,” he added. At 39 years of age, Fernandes could very well be on the tail end of his career, but the “The Flash” has showed no signs of slowing down. Against Belingon, Fernandes says that he has no plans of letting his title slip through his hands. “I have held this World Title for a long time, and I’m not about to give it up now,” he proudly proclaimed. “I am ready to go the full five rounds, but I am also ready to finish the bout by knockout or submission when the opportunity presents itself.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2018

Belingon gets ONE title rematch vs Fernandes in Singapore

JAKARTA---Kevin Belingon gets his shot to unify the ONE Bantamweight World championship with a rematch against reigning titleholder Bibiano Fernandes set for November 9 in Singapore. Bellingon of Team Lakay is coming off a massive victory over two-division champion Kevin Nguyen last July, where he issued a challenge to Fernandes who was sitting at ringside at Mall of Asia Arena. The highly-anticipated bout is the co-main event of the ONE: Heart of Lion at Singapore Indoor Stadium. "It's going to be an awesome matchup that fans will surely not want to miss, said Chatri Sityodtong, chairman and CEO of ONE Championship. The last time these two fighters met in January 2016, B...Keep on reading: Belingon gets ONE title rematch vs Fernandes in Singapore.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 20th, 2018

ONE: Former champ Eduard Folayang learned from teammate Kevin Belingon’s title win over Martin Nguyen

Team Lakay bantamweight star Kevin Belingon did something that not a lot of people have been able to do, and that’s defeat Martin Nguyen. In the main event of ONE: Reign of Kings, Friday evening at the Mall of Asia Arena, Belingon outstruck and outworked Nguyen over the course of five rounds to earn a unanimous decision win and become the new Interim ONE Championship Bantamweight World Champion. The Baguio native becomes just the third man to defeat Nguyen, along with former ONE Featherweight World Champion Marat Gafurov and reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano Fernandes. As Belingon implemented his winning gameplan against Nguyen, his teammate and former ONE Championship Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang was an interested observer. Aside from watching one of his Team Lakay brothers fight for a world championship, Folayang is also preparing for what could be a possible rematch with Nguyen, the reigning ONE Championship Lightweight king. Folayang who took to the cage Friday evening, defeating previously-undefeated Russian Combat Sambo world champion Aziz Pahrudinov via Unanimous Decision. Having already won back-to-back fights, Folayang is on the brink of another shot at regaining the championship that he used to hold, and during the post-fight presser, Folayang admitted to have overlooked some stuff in his previous fight with Nguyen. “I think in the first time na nag-meet kami [ni Martin Nguyen], I overlooked some things, in some cases, na-overconfident din ako, and nakalimutan ko na it’s MMA,” Folayang bared. “There will always be a way for your opponent to hit you.” Against Nguyen, Folayang was on the receiving end of a vicious KO. Watching Belingon beat Nguyen however, Folayang says that he’s picked up a more confident approach, should he and the Viet-Aussie star share the cage again. “On the fight of Kevin, I really learned a lot. Of course I need to be careful in those areas na kalakasan ng kalaban, and then kung saan ka malakas, be careful din kasi doon ka papasukin.” Since falling to Nguyen, Folayang has taken a more patient approach in his fights, and it has led him to two convincing wins against a pair of tough Russian grapplers. With the way things are playing out in the lightweight division however, it’s more likely that Folayang finds himself going up against another former opponent and fellow former champion in Shinya Aoki. Folayang dethroned Aoki for the lightweight title back in 2016, and says that a rematch against the grappling ace wouldn’t be a problem. “Okay naman ang rematch kay Shinya,” Folayang said, before jokingly suggesting that another unbeaten Russian could be the next person that ONE puts in front of him. “Siyempre hindi lang natin alam, baka mamaya another undefeated na Russian ulit, si Khabib [Nurmagomedov] naman ang susunod, we just really don’t know. That’s a joke.” the former champ said with a laugh. Nurmagomedov, of course, is the reigning UFC Lightweight World Champion......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 30th, 2018