Founded by Mark Sangiao, Team Lakay now has two reigning ONE Championship world champions. Representing the team based in Baguio City, Philippines, Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, 30, was recently crowned the new ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion.
On July 27, 2018, Belingon battled it out with Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, 29, of Australia and Vietnam for the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship at “ONE: Reign of Kings” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. After five five-minute rounds, the Team Lakay fighter had his hand raised by referee Olivier Coste as the winner via unanimous decision.
“I can’t explain this feeling,” Belingon said during his post-fight interview with Mitch “The Dragon” Chilson. “I’m the happiest athlete tonight. Thank you to all the people who came out to support me, and of course to ONE Championship, my team, my coaches and trainers, and my teammates.”
“To Martin [Nguyen], it was an honor fighting you,” the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion added. “You’re such a great athlete and champion. I trained very hard for this fight, just to get this belt. I’m proud to be a champion representing the Philippines.”
One of the special guests of ONE Championship during the “ONE: Reign of Kings” fight night is reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes, 38, of Brazil. He joined Belingon inside the cage during the post-fight interview of the newly crowned Filipino champion.
“My friend Bibiano [Fernandes], I respect him as a champion,” Belingon said. “But we’re in the same weight class and I’m the top contender, so there is no escape in facing me. I hope you recover fast and we can make the fight this year.”
The rematch between Fernandes and Belingon was originally set to be the main event of “ONE: Reign of Kings.” However, it was cancelled due to the injury of the former, who is available to fight in either October 2018 or November 2018, according to ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.
Meanwhile, watch Belingon’s ring walkout featuring traditional Ifugao dance at “ONE: Reign of Kings” here: