Belingon plays waiting game
Three of Team Lakay’s ONE Championship world titlists have been given their assignments for the new year, leaving just bantamweight champion Kevin Belingon without a challenger.
The 31-year-old striker delivered the third crown for the famed fight stable last November, before Eduard Folayang rounded out the crew’s gold rush in the lightweight division.
“I don’t mind waiting,” Belingon told the Inquirer in Filipino. “But hopefully, the promotion gives me one for March.”
Strawweight champion Joshua Pacio was given Yosuke Saruta for a bout this January in Jakarta, while Geje Eustaquio and Folayang are set to face the opponents they dethroned for their respective flyweight and lightweight belts.
Belingon, who ended Bibiano Fernandes’ ONE record streak as the longest-reigning bantamweight ruler, seems to follow the same trend, especially with the latter visibly upset when the split decision was revealed during their title fight in Singapore.
“I can take on Bibi (Fernandes) again,” Belingon said of the potential third fight. “I feel like he couldn’t get over the fact that he lost to me.”
If the pieces fall into place, Belingon and Fernandes will figure in a trilogy like Eustaquio and Adriano Moraes, who is also from Brazil.
“Either way, it will be a great opportunity for me to prove to him that I’m a deserving champion,” said Belingon, named ONE’s Athlete of the Year.
For now, the Kiangan, Ifugao native, who lost only once in three years, is keeping himself in shape.
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