Even before the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic former ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon has been eager to make his return to mixed martial arts competition.
He has even named a time and place for his return. Belingon wants to compete at ONE Infinity 1 to be held May 29 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
A fan favorite because of his explosive striking “The Silencer” promises to showcase his other combat skills in his next outing.
The 32-year-old Kiangan, Ifugao resident lost his last fight at ONE: Century Part II in Tokyo, Japan October 2019 after being submitted by longtime rival and the reigning bantamweight king, Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes.
The setback convinced him to work on his wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Team Lakay in Baguio City. And if everything goes according to plan he will display his newfound skills in May.
“My target, hopefully, is the May event here in the Philippines. That is what I am looking at,” said Belingon.
“Now, I am focused on the ground game and my wrestling. Of course, I won’t relax on my specialty either – my striking. But then again, reviewing my match with Bibiano, I am really lacking on the ground and wrestling, so that’s what I am looking at right now.”
Belingon has his work cut out for him if he wants a crack at the world title held by Fernandes.
The toughest contenders in the division include Chinese knockout artist “The Underdog” Li Kai Wen, Dagestani grappler Yusup “Maestro” Saadulaev, Singapore-based American Troy “Pretty Boy” Worthen, and Japanese warriors Shoko Sato and Shuya “Stealth” Kamikubo.
He says he is willing to face anyone to get closer to the ONE Bantamweight World Championship again.
“There are a lot of names in the bantamweight division. Whoever they give me, I’ll take them on,” he says.
“The most important thing is to get back to my winning ways and compete for the title once more. That’s the goal – to get back on top and get the belt.”
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