Belingon stops Russian for first One FC win-A A +A
Monday, October 8, 2012
FILIPINO flyweight champion Kevin Belingon finally nailed a huge victory after suffering strings of setbacks in Asia’s largest mix martial arts (MMA) promotion.
Belingon made sure his third return to the One Fighting Championship (One FC) arena dubbed “Rise of Kings” was unforgettable as he knocked out highly ranked Russian Yusup Saadulaev with 3:18 remaining in the first round of their scheduled three round encounter at the Singapore Indoor Stadium during the weekend.
The win erased doubts on Belingon’s MMA ability and at the same time challenged the big boys of MMA in Asia to score his first win in three fights inside the ONE FC cage.
“Nag-concentrate talaga kami sa training at the same time nag focus kami sa mga weakness ni Kevin dun sa huling laban,” said Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao.
It was Belingon’s 10th overall win in 12 MMA fights, erasing the stigma of his losses to Japan’s Masakazu Imanari in the One FC: War of the Lions in Singapore last March 31 and Korea’s Soo Chul Kim in the One FC: Pride of a Nation in Manila last August 31.
“Malaking motivation din yung sinabi namin na eto na yung last chance to prove himself sa bantamweight,” added Sangiao, who also thanked Dante Bagsan Law Office, Councilor Nicasio Aliping Jr., Arch. Mark Tidang, City Government of Baguio, Alfredo Aliping, Lawyer Wreynolph Panganiban, Fitness Haven, Yawsa, and Tatak Maharlikano for their support.
The URCC champion never gave a chance against the taller Saadulev by keeping the fight in a striking battle.
Saadulev had a chance to overturn the fight as he nailed Belingon to the ground but his effort backfired with the Filipino champ fighting the ground game with a back side mount.
The 25-year-old Ifugao born Belingon then attempted an arm-bar lock, but when he couldn’t get it done, the Filipino assaulted the Russian with elbows and knees to the face, knees to side and punishing flurries to the stomach.
Belingon then landed a couple of vicious punches that turned Saadulaev glassy-eyed, forcing the referee to stop the fight where he moved up the Bantamweight Grand Prix ladder and hopes to win a couple of more fights to get a crack at facing off with old tormentor Soo Chul Kim, who surprised everyone by coming up with a sensational second round stoppage of a highly favored Leandro Issa of Brazil for the bantamweight title.
Belingon and Soo’s upsets were one of the many surprises in the blockbuster fight card, including one by Japanese Shooto champion Kotetsu Boku, who dethroned Brazilian Zorobabel Moreira to snatch the lightweight crown.
Japan’s Shinya Aoki, meanwhile, proved he’s the best arm-bar submission specialist in the world after he made shortwork of Frenchman Arnaud Lepont, whom he dispatched in just a minute, 25 seconds to improve to 31-6-1 in his One FC debut.
In a non-titled middleweight bout, Dutch-Surinamese Melvin Manhoef sent Japan’s Ryo Kawamura with a powerful right 20 seconds left in the first round to likewise debut in One FC on a bright note.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 09, 2012.