ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, 30, of Kiangan, Ifugao, Philippines will challenge ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes, 38, of Brazil at “ONE: Heart of the Lion” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore on November 9, 2018. For the Filipino challenger, competing in Singapore is similar to competing on his own home turf.
“Fighting in Singapore is almost like fighting in Manila,” Belingon shared. “Thousands of Filipinos are based there and they never fail to show support when their fellow Filipino is scheduled to compete at a ONE Championship event.”
Singapore is home to thousands of overseas Filipino workers. The Singapore Indoor Stadium has enjoyed a huge Filipino crowd whenever ONE Championship hosts an event in the country known as the Lion City.
On November 11, 2016, Belingon’s Team Lakay teammate Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 34, of Baguio City, Philippines challenged then-ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki, 35, of Shizuoka, Japan. The Singapore Indoor Stadium witnessed how the screams of Filipino fans exploded, fililng every section of the state-of-the-art showground to support the beloved Filipino mixed martial arts superstar.
“I was there when Eduard Folayang pulled off the unexpected against Shinya Aoki to capture the ONE Lightweight World Title in 2016,” Belingon shared. “Filipino fans were cheering for Eduard from start to finish, and the stadium erupted from the chants of countless Filipinos when he was officially crowned as the new ONE Lightweight World Champion.”
Belingon is banking on crowd support when he takes on Fernandes in their highly anticipated rematch at “ONE: Heart of the Lion.” Should the usual massive Filipino crowd show up, the Ifugao native feels that it would help him muster an inspired performance to get crowned as the undisputed ONE Bantamweight World Champion.
“I expect the same support, and hopefully an even bigger turnout from Filipino fans when I challenge Bibiano Fernandes for the ONE Bantamweight World Title on November 9 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium,” Belingon said. “Our country is known for its passionate and knowledgeable fans who never fail to show massive support for one of their own.”
“I know how big of a following ONE Championship has from Filipino fans,” the Team Lakay fighter declared. “I’m confident that they will flock to the stadium and show support in what would be the biggest and most important bout of my career. A huge Filipino crowd will surely help bring out an inspired performance from me as I attempt to bring the gold-plated belt back to the Philippines.”
Here is Belingon right after his coronation as the new ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion: