Count on Kevin Belingon to take one for his team and the country.
After cementing his claim as one of the most dangerous fighters in the bantamweight division, Belingon now sets his sights on the golden hardware as he is set to battle two-division champion Martin Nguyen for the interim 65-kilogram belt.
Riding high on five straight victories inside the ONE Championship cage, his recent victory being over Andrew Leone in April, Belingon will try to silence the “Situ-Asian” and dash his hopes of rewriting history by winning three title belts at the same time.
They will headline “ONE: Reign of Kings” slated on July 27 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City — the third of the promotion’s four Philippine stops.
“As one of the top bantamweights in ONE Championship, I am willing to take on all comers,” said the 30-year-old fighter from Baguio City. “It doesn’t matter to me who is the opponent. I am honored to face Martin Nguyen, a two-division world champion.”
Should Belingon overcome Nguyen, it will be a double victory of sorts as it will also serve as a payback for the Vietnamese-Australian’s knockout victory over his Team Lakay stablemate and erstwhile lightweight king Eduard Folayang back in November.
“If I can beat Martin, it would be huge. This is a great position I am in, and I am excited for this bout. It will be action-packed, for sure.”
After last tasting defeat at the hands of Bibiano Fernandes in January 2016, Belingon fought his way back on the winning track and is now headed on a collision course with Nguyen who, like him, lost to Fernandes.
Fernandes narrowly won over Nguyen via split decision last March. He bounced back in April with a split decision victory over Christian Lee to successfully defend his featherweight crown.
“This is a fan-friendly match-up between two aggressive, young beasts, and I can’t wait to lock horns with Kevin. There will be fireworks,” the 29-year-old Nguyen, meanwhile, said in a statement.