Former ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon experienced some hurdles in 2019 and fell on the wrong end of history in his rivalry with longtime division king Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes.
Now he has finally licked his wounds and is ready to climb the bantamweight division ladder once more.
“I am now ready to get back. I am excited for my first match this year. I hope it comes soon and I get to know all about it early so I can prepare well for it,” Belingon said.
“The past year 2019 taught me a lot of things. It’s a year of lessons. I believe I have internalized everything, and I am ready to show that in my next matches.”
The Kiangan, Ifugao native dropped his World Title to Fernandes in March 2019 at ONE: A NEW ERA after being disqualified for illegal elbows.
The two settled the score once more in a rare fourth match at ONE: Century Part II, where “The Silencer” succumbed to his rival for the third time by a second-round rear-naked choke.
Those losses affected him personally, but Belingon uses those setbacks to motivate him for the future.
“Losing is a part of an athlete’s life. One thing I’ve learned from that tough year is how important it is to keep going, keep evolving as a person and as an athlete,” Belingon said.
“After those matches, I’ve been working on my wrestling and grappling non-stop. I know that it will be crucial to the challenges that I’ll face this year.
“I’ve upgraded all areas of my game, so I’ll be ready whoever I face.”
Now healthy both physically and mentally, Belingon plans to compete as many times as he can in 2020.
He knows another match-up against Fernandes in the next few months is unlikely, so he is willing to face anyone.
“I am healthy and I am physically fit. My target is to fight four times this year. I’ll just keep on training so when the call comes, I am ready,” Belingon said.
“I am willing to compete against anyone in the division. You know me. I am not the type to handpick matches. That’s the reason why this early I am working to be in shape, so I am ready whoever I face next.”
In the meantime, ONE Championship returns to The Lion City for ONE: King of the Jungle on February 28 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Belingon’s teammate – former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario – returns to the division he once dominated when he battles Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai.
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