Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon may have just earned himself another crack at ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes.
On Friday, 10 November, at ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD, the Filipino contender defeated South Korean Kevin “Oldboy” Chung via unanimous decision in front of a capacity crowd at Manila’s Mall Of Asia Arena.
Chung’s strategy in the early going was to take the center of the cage, and force Belingon to strike moving backwards, all while opening up takedown opportunities in the process.
One errant strike to Chung’s groin led to an injury timeout, after which Belingon opted to prove that it does not matter whether he is going forward or backward when he unloads his explosive strikes.
The South Korean’s left arm kept sinking lower and lower trying to protect his increasingly-bruised body, and in desperation, he tried for a takedown and missed. Belingon let loose, and jumped on top with multiple right hands.
“Oldboy” attempted to push him off with his legs, but Belingon simply dived over the top for another huge right, followed by knees to the body and more punches to the head. “The Silencer” then stood up and punished the legs with kicks, before referee Yuji Shimada stood Chung up with 50 seconds left. He fared no better in the final minute.
The second round was measurably better for Chung, even though he was punished in any stand-up exchange that took place by the powerful legs and hands of Belingon.
Halfway through the stanza, Chung turned the corner. “Oldboy” got the Filipino to the canvas and took side control, but his mistake was looking for a transition to full mount, which allowed Belingon to explode back to his feet with 30 seconds left.
Getting Belingon to the ground visibly increased Chung’s confidence entering the third and final frame. While the Team Lakay product kept threatening with strikes, the South Korean shot for a takedown and got into side control.
Once again, the transitions on the ground backfired, as an attempt to secure an armbar gave Belingon enough space to get back to his feet, causing the home crowd to erupt in loud chants for the local favorite.
Chung would shoot again for a takedown, but it was stuffed and he flopped onto his back. With over 70 seconds left, Belingon took the bait. Unafraid of being submitted, he methodically attacked “Oldboy” and stood over his prone foe as the final bell rang. The judges would render a unanimous decision for “The Silencer.”
Now on a four-bout win streak, Belingon improves his professional record to 17-5 and inches closer to a world title shot. Chung, meanwhile, experiences the first loss of his career and dips to 5-1.