PH’s Belingon eyes payback vs Fernandes
Nearly three years ago, Kevin Belingon of the famed Team Lakay was handed a sound beating by defending ONE bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes.
Fernandes’ Brazilian jiu-jitsu was too much to handle for the Ifugao native as he bowed out of contention just a minute after the opening bell.
On Friday night, Belingon, now equipped with his squad’s very own “BJJ,” looks to become the undisputed division champion as he gets another crack at the Brazilian grappling virtuoso.
“This is going to be BJJ versus BJJ,” the 31-year-old said ahead of the showdown set at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
“We’ve proven in our previous fights that our approach works. While I respect [Fernandes’] skills since he’s a blackbelt, I’ll be banking on our own style,” he added in Filipino.
Stablemate Geje Eustaquio first made the BJJ quip shortly after unifying the flyweight belts at the expense of Adriano Moraes in June.
The two fighters last tangled on Jan. 23, 2016, in China. Belingon was caught with a kimura lock to become Fernandes’ 11th prey in a streak that now features 14 victories.
The Filipino for his part strung up six victories since that loss, including the interim title which he won at the expense of a decorated Martin Nguyen.
“They’re saying wrestling and grappling are our weaknesses,” Belingon noted. “We stuck it out with the basics. Fans also took notice of our improvement in our ground game.”
“This time, I’m confident with my wrestling and grappling,” he closed.
A victory by Belingon hikes Team Lakay’s current champion count to three. He could join strawweight Joshua Pacio, who became the division kingpin in September along with Eustaquio.
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