Pinoy MMA Belingon Eyes Another KO Win

For the past three outings of Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon inside the ONE Championship cage, the Filipino mixed martial artist has proven himself as the next worthy contender for the coveted ONE Bantamweight World Championship.

Ever since unsuccessfully challenging Bibiano Fernandes for the gold-plated strap in January 2016, Belingon has run through his recent opposition by piling up three-straight stellar victories.

Following his submission setback to Fernandes, Belingon took several months off before re-emerging in October 2016 by handing top Tajik prospect Muin Gafurov his second professional loss via unanimous decision.

Belingon followed it up with an astounding knockout conquest of Finnish dynamo and former title contender Toni Tauru last April in front of a sold-out crowd at the 20,000-capacity SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.

In his most recent bout, Belingon showcased another epic performance by notching a first-round knockout win over fellow ex-title challenger Reece “Lightning” McLaren last August.

After picking up an emphatic victory over McLaren, it appeared that Belingon was on his way to a second encounter with Fernandes.

However, Belingon is having a slight detour towards his goal to meet Fernandes again as he has been booked to face Korean-American standout Kevin “Old Boy” Chung in a three-round affair on the undercard of ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD, which takes place at the 20,000-seater SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines on 10 November.

For Belingon, his cage showdown with Chung is an opportunity to make a truly impressive statement as his objective is to score a rematch with Fernandes for the organization’s bantamweight title.

“Make no mistake about it, my performances in the cage as of late are a message to the organization and to the reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion. I am coming for that belt, and no one can stop me. Whoever they put in front of me, I will be looking to destroy. I am a man on a mission,” he stated.

According to Belingon, defeating Chung in decisive fashion may strengthen his bid to get a rematch with Fernandes.

“My mindset remains to showcase my skills and remain focused on executing the game plan. My team and I have devised a tremendous strategy in dealing with my next opponent. Even though I have scored some recent knockouts, I am not going in there recklessly,” he explained.

“If at any point I sense my opponent is ready to go, and the knockout presents itself, I am like a shark in a fish tank. There is no doubt I will go for the finish, and I will end matters quickly. I will strike my opponent until the referee pulls me off him,” Belingon added.

Despite running at breakneck speed to 9-0 at the start of his professional career, the Team Lakay bantamweight was not a renowned knockout artist.

But since signing with ONE Championship in 2012 and focusing on his training regime in the mountain region of the Philippines, five of his seven victories have come by way of knockout.

“I have bolstered my training, working on all areas of my game from striking to grappling,” Belingon shared.

With his Wushu background honed under Mark Sangiao, Belingon is as lethal as the nickname suggest as he is fast, destructive and goes for the clean shot.

Belingon is literally punching his way to a second title opportunity against division kingpin Fernandes, having recently knocked out two former world title challengers in the very first round.

“I want to show everybody that I am the real title challenger-in-waiting. I have realized my mistakes in my first encounter with Bibiano, and I have worked hard to erase those flaws. He is a great world champion, but I feel things will go differently if we ever meet again. The time will come when I will be able to showcase my improvements,” he stressed.

Although vying for the ONE Bantamweight World Championship title remains as his top priority, Belingon clarified that his current focus is fixed on his date with Chung at ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD.

“My opponent is not easy, and I am not taking him for granted, which is why I am completely focused on my upcoming bout this November 10. This is a dangerous game we play, and we cannot underestimate anybody. I need to be at my absolute best so I can turn in another great performance for the fans. Competing in front of my hometown crowd, the pressure is on to score another huge victory,” he declared.

The stakes are incredibly high for Belingon, unveiling that he is preparing himself to be in the best shape of his life.

Belingon knows that each win from here on out is another step closer to the ONE Bantamweight World Championship belt.

“I know I will meet Bibiano again in that cage, and when that day comes, I need to be prepared. There is not a day that has passed that I have not thought about that first bout. But for now, my objective is to win against Kevin Chung on November 10,” he ended.

​For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit www.onefc.com, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ ONEChampionship.
Advertisements

Nguyen’s Latest Win For Late Dad

Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen completed his climb to the top of ONE Championship’s competitive 70.3-kilogram weight class by clinching a prestigious martial arts gold against a fierce Russian rival.

The 28-year-old Australian standout knocked out the previously unbeaten Marat “Cobra” Gafurov in their rematch and laid claim to the featherweight crown in the main event of ONE: QUEST FOR GREATNESS last Friday, 18 August at the iconic Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Recognizing an opening, Nguyen countered Gafurov’s low kick with an overhand right that knocked out the Dagestani grappler at the center of the ONE Championship cage.

The newly-minted ONE Featherweight World Champion achieved one of his dreams by becoming a world champion in astounding fashion.

However, the sweet victory was about more than just the belt for Nguyen, instead it was all for his family.

Nguyen may have been a menace during his adolescence, but he never had to look far to find inspiration and set himself on the right path. For him, it was right at home and came in the form of the man he called “dad.”

“My dad worked hard just for us to get by. We were not the richest family, and we were not as poor as other people out here, but we got by. He was my sole inspiration to work hard, just the way he was able to provide for his family,” he said.

While Nguyen’s father was not particularly fond of his son stepping into the cage, he watched with a keen eye and supported him nonetheless.

In July 2012, Nguyen made his professional debut and proved to be quite the talent as soon as the bell rang.

Nguyen was flawless, winning every bout en route to capturing the BRACE featherweight championship belt in November 2013. Like a good son, he brought the belt to his father shortly after winning it.

“My dad looked at it. He was all happy and taking pictures with it. It was awesome,” he recalled. “And then he said, ‘Alright, you got the belt now. Enough. Just call it quits.’ No parent likes to see their child getting injured in a match or anything like that, so he said, ‘Enough now. No more.’”

Sadly, it was the last thing Nguyen’s father said to him with regard to his professional martial arts career as his dad tragically passed away just a few weeks later.

His father had undergone a bone marrow transplant so he could get more white blood cells into his body. The procedure was initially a success, but the healing process taking longer than usual.

As doctors were preparing to do more testing, Nguyen’s father contracted the flu, and that eventually turned into pneumonia and took his life.

“I never experienced any hardship or heartbreak until then, and I will never forget that day. He was in Melbourne at that time, so I flew into Melbourne to see him. Everything was happening so fast, and then he was gone. I did not even get to speak to him, and there are a lot of things I wish I could have said to him. It was heartbreaking,” Nguyen shared.

Nearly four years later, Nguyen still carries the loss of his father like an anchor around his neck.

Even though Nguyen is constantly reminded of his dad, he knows that his world-title winning performance was a fitting way to pay tribute to him.

With tears streaming from his eyes, Nguyen kneeled at the center of the ONE Championship cage, basking in the adulation poured upon him.

“This is for my dad. He was my inspiration for the whole camp when I mentally broke. (He and) the boys kept me together,” he stated.

Two days after accomplishing the monumental victory and claiming the No. 1 status in ONE Championship’s stacked featherweight division, Nguyen visited his grave with the belt.

“I am doing this all for him. One big title to put the icing on the cake,” he said. “It’s the only thing I wanted to do once I got home. I hope he is so proud right now.”

 

​For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit www.onefc.com, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ONECh ampionship.

MMA Fighter Toni Tauru Ready for ONE: Kings of Destiny

Toni “Dynamite” Tauru is determined to keep his winning momentum going inside the ONE Championship cage as the Finnish fighters aims to claim his second consecutive victory under the umbrella of Asia’s largest mixed martial arts (MMA) organization.

The 32-year-old native of Utti, Finland is set to square off with Filipino standout Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon in the co-headliner of ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY, which takes place at the 20,000-seater SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines on 21 April.

After falling short in his first two assignments as a ONE Championship athlete, Tauru broke into the promotion’s winning territory for the first time this past December by submitting Belingon’s teammate Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio with a rear-naked choke in the opening salvo.

Tauru wasted no time in the stand-up trade with the Team Lakay representative, shooting immediately for a single-leg takedown and pacifying Eustaquio on the canvas.

From there, Tauru used his size and strength advantage to power through a rear-naked choke to compel Eustaquio to wave the white flag and notch the win in the first round.
Fresh from his spectacular submission triumph over Eustaquio, Tauru sees his three-round bantamweight encounter against Belingon as an opportunity to establish his first winning streak in ONE Championship.

“This is my chance to keep my momentum going in ONE Championship. It’s not impossible. That’s why I am exerting a tremendous amount of effort in training. I want to keep on winning,” he said.

The man standing in Tauru’s goal to make it two in a row in ONE Championship is Belingon, a former bantamweight title challenger who rose to prominence as a fierce cage competitor with the ability to finish opponents in a variety of methods.

Belingon is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Tajik prospect Muin Gafurov, who defeated Tauru by way of third-round stoppage in January 2016.

Although Belingon is the heavy favorite in the marquee match-up versus Tauru on paper, the latter is fervent to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to walk out of the state-of-the-art SM Mall of Asia Arena with his name being announced as the winner.

“Kevin is a good striker. In his last fight, he showed that he now has a good takedown defense. He is also ONE Championship title challenger like me. However, he hasn’t fought a martial artist like me. I am always improving my arsenal and honing my craft,” he stated.

“I am extremely confident for this bout. It’s the perfect match-up to show the whole world my true capabilities as a top-notch competitor in this sport. I am not going to waste this opportunity. I am coming to Manila on April 21st to get my hand raised,” Tauru added.

Tauru looks at his upcoming bout as something more than a climb back up the bantamweight ladder or a chance to erase the memory of bad luck in ONE Championship.

The Finnish submission dynamo views it as an opportunity to visit the Philippines again and win over the passionate Filipino crowd.

“The Philippines is crazy over MMA. They know the sport so well. I know I am fighting their hometown hero. I see it as a challenge to gain their respect. It will be an awesome fight between Kevin and me. Expect that,” Tauru guaranteed.

For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit www.onefc.com, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ONECh ampionship.

Inspired Folayang Ready for Next Title Fight

Who do you think inspires this popular MMA champ of Team Lakay?

Filipino fighter Eduard “Landslide” Folayang feels extra motivated in his first defense of his ONE Lightweight World Championship title next month as he and his wife have welcomed a bouncing baby girl to their family.

Martial Arts Coach George Castro To Set Foot in RP

ONE Championship heavyweight champ Brandon “The Truth” Vera made a promise and it is coming true this New Year. This news rings as a great start to all mixed martial arts enthusiasts this first quarter of 2017 . Do read on!

george-castro

Former professional mixed martial artist turned fight coach, George Castro, is set to arrive in Manila the first week of January 2017 to make good on Brandon Vera’s promise to bring the world-famous Alliance MMA gym to Philippine shores. Castro, who has worked with Vera for the past four years, previously served as the strength and conditioning coach at Alliance MMA in San Diego, California.

 

“The plan is to bring a new style — my style of training — to the Philippines. I want to go everywhere and show everybody what I know and spread my knowledge,” said Castro. “Asia has a bunch of tough fighters with a lot of heart, especially in the Philippines.”

george-castro-3

Castro is no stranger to working with world-class talent, having had a hand in the careers of fighters like Jeremy Stephens, Ross Pearson and Wilson Hayes.


A veteran of the fight game, Castro began his MMA career in the early 2000’s, being introduced to the sport by MMA veteran Don Frye. He was then later acquired by MMA fighter Dominick Cruz at Alliance MMA where he then met Vera. 
The two clicked instantly.

“He (Brandon Vera) is ‘The Truth’. He keeps it real, he’s one hundred percent He’s black and white. I’m the same way. I just keep everything legit, no lying, no backstabbing. Let’s just be real with each other,” said Castro.

“If we click, we click, if we don’t, we don’t. With Brandon we did click, so that’s why we became so close. Even though I’m a little bit older than him, I consider him my big brother.”


Castro, along with ONE Heavyweight World Champion Vera, is expected to bring elevated combat sports training into the country. MMA is huge in the Philippines. More and more youth are starting to take up martial arts as a sport. 
But because eastern martial arts is more focused on the striking aspect of fighting as opposed to the west which has focused largely on wrestling and grappling, the level of well-roundedness of local fighters as a whole is slightly below par. That’s all set to change with Castro’s arrival.

george-castro-4

Castro believes that technique can easily be taught but that it is very difficult to find athletes who are completely dedicated to their craft. He however stressed that he sees a lot of potential in the Philippines.

“If you have the heart and you love to work hard and you love to grind, I will always take that person and train somebody like that. Because we can teach that person skill but heart and dedication, you can’t teach,” said Castro.

“Putting up Alliance MMA is going to be great. We’re going to help a lot of young fighters and maybe hopefully pull some kids off the streets and give them a better chance at life like MMA did for me.”

 

Castro will spend the holidays with family and will complete a few more obligations before the year ends, but after that, he’s all-in to move to Manila and begin the next chapter in his career. After 2016, which has been one of the best years of Philippine MMA, Castro’s addition to the country’s training resources could produce some fantastic results.

With Vera spearheading Alliance MMA’s entrance into Asia, the possibilities are endless.

“(Brandon) is a legend in the sport and he’s very well-rounded in every aspect of the sport. Going out to the Philippines with him has been nothing but a blessing for me,” said Castro. “Working with him in opening up this gym is a dream come true for me and I’m a hundred percent excited to get that going.”

For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit www.onefc.com, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ON EChampionship.

One Championship Filipino MMA Catalan Aims Winning Streak

A Busy Yet More Exciting ONE Championship 2017 Fight Schedule Out

After a successful and well-attended (as always) Manila fight last December 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena, wherein our very own Brandon “The Truth” Vera defended his heavyweight champion title against Japan’s Hideki Sekine, the largest sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), has just announced its blockbuster 2017 schedule. 

15337523_1255213897835196_8498087954552593955_n

This past year, ONE Championship delivered world-class mixed martial arts (MMA) action to iconic Asian cities across the region, breaking into new Chinese markets while continuing to delight fans in key Asian destinations. The promotion also successfully held a live event at the Cotai Arena in glitzy Macau, and became the first-ever major MMA promotion to hold a live event in Bangkok, Thailand.

Victor Cui, CEO of ONE Championship, stated: “2016 has been a phenomenal year for ONE Championship. It was absolutely historic for the promotion and 2017 promises to be even better.”

15390782_1255213931168526_9124061290314506442_n

“With the addition of key senior leaders to aid ONE with our growth plans, the promotion is in an unbelievable position to make some major waves in the global MMA industry. Together we aim to deliver fans a continuously unique experience that they will never forget.”

15317901_1252735308083055_3497154680111228264_n

In 2016, ONE Championship saw the birth of new world champions, sold out iconic stadiums and arenas all across the world, and entered exciting new markets. Growth has increased exponentially, attracting new major sponsorships and forging stronger business relationships with partners.

With groundbreaking new network television deals, ONE Championship is now broadcast to over one billion viewers in more than 118 countries worldwide, with a loyal and passionate fan base of supporters from nations all across the globe. 2017 promises to be even better in terms of viewership and popularity as ONE Championship lays out plans for new markets.

15241412_1252675308089055_8140886437740965592_n

ONE Championship has announced plans for live shows in its usual major cities of Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Manila, and Yangon. The promotion is also set to return to the Cotai Arena in Macau and the Impact Arena in Bangkok. New markets Vietnam and Japan are also in the works as well as multiple destinations in mainland China including Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Beijing.

In line with ONE Championship’s growth strategy, building local homegrown Asian martial arts heroes from the grassroots, the promotion is set to take advantage of the potential of world-class MMA in Vietnam, South Korea and Japan with events to be announced at a later date.

“ONE Championship is coming out in full force to hold electric live events all over mainland China, with plans to break into new and exciting markets in Vietnam, South Korea and Japan. I know fans can’t wait for ONE to come to town. Get ready for one of the biggest years in MMA.” Cui concludes.
15319255_1255213601168559_2126785960642278592_n

ONE Championship 2017 Schedule

Jakarta, Indonesia

Jakarta Convention Center

Saturday, January 14

 

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Stadium Negara

Friday, February 10

Bangkok, Thailand

Impact Arena

Saturday, March 11

Manila, Philippines

Mall of Asia Arena

Friday, April 21

Singapore

Singapore Indoor Stadium

Friday, May 26

Beijing, China

Le Sports Center

Friday, June 30

Yangon, Myanmar

Thuwunna Indoor Stadium

Friday, July 14

Macau, China

Cotai Arena

Saturday, August 12

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Stadium Negara

Friday, August 18

Jakarta, Indonesia

Jakarta Convention Center

Saturday, September 16

Shenzhen, China

Bao An Stadium

Saturday, October 21

Da Nang, Vietnam

Tien Son Sport Center

Friday, October 27

Yangon, Myanmar

Thuwunna Indoor Stadium

Friday, November 3

Manila, Philippines

Mall of Asia Arena

Friday, November 10

Singapore

Singapore Indoor Stadium

Friday, November 24

Beijing, China

Le Sports Center

Saturday, December 2

Bangkok, Thailand

Impact Arena

Saturday, December 9

Shanghai, China

Mercedes Benz Center

Tuesday, December 12

For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit www.onefc.com, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ONECh ampionship.

Many thanks to Mr. Loren Mack, Ms. Tammy Chan Mun Yi of ONE Championship along with Ms. Tessa Jazmines and her Team LARC and ASSET for all the assistance and media/PR needs. Until the next Manila fights!

Photo Credits: ONE Championship Facebook Page …Many thanks for the amazing Age of Domination in Manila fight night pics! 

Previous Older Entries

December 2017
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Social