Belingon gets crack at ONE Championship title

KEVIN Belingon finally gets a crack at ONE Championship gold as he challenges bantamweight king Bibiano Fernandes on Jan. 23 in the main event of ONE Championship - "Dynasty of Champions" at the Changsa Stadium in Changsa, China.

The 28-year-old Belingon, one of Baguio City-based Team Lakay's best fighters, has had an inconsistent campaign in the ONE Championship but a unanimous decision win over Japanese Koetsu Okazaki earned him a shot at the title.

Belingon is 4-4 in his four years as a ONE Championship fighter. He owns wins over Okazaki, Russian Yusup Saadulaev, Aussie Thanh Vu and Spaniard David Aranda Santacana.

The odds, however, are stacked against Belingon because Fernandes is one of the best bantamweight fighters of the world.

The 35-year-old Fernandes hasn't been beaten for five years and has won his last 10 fights. The last time he tasted defeat was in 2010, when he dropped a unanimous decision in the hands of Hiroyuki Takaya.

Since unifying the bantamweight crown with a unanimous decision win over Soo Chul Kim, Fernandes has successfully defended his title three times against Masakatsu Ueda, Dae Hwan Kim and against Toni Tauro.

Fernandes is 18-3, while Belingon is 13-4.

Another Filipino fighter sees action in the undercard.

Former pro pug Roy Doliguez (6-2) takes on Japanese Riku Shibuya (12-3-2).

Doliguez, journeyman in his boxing days, has found success in his campaign as an MMA fighter. He, however, is coming off a failed title bid against ONE Championship strawweight champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke.

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