MMA

Andrew Leone on losing to Bibiano Fernandes: I could’ve done more

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After losing to ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes, 37, of Brazil, Andrew Leone, 28, of the United States will fight inside the ONE Championship cage for the fifth time. Aiming for a redemptive win, the American fighter recently shared his reassessment of his most recent fight.

“It was a tough loss,” Leone said. I worked very hard for that bout, and I only lasted for almost two minutes inside the cage with him. I believe I could have done more against Bibiano Fernandes, but it is what it is.”

Leone had a successful ONE Championship debut after defeating Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, 28, of the Philippines on May 31, 2013. From there, the American fighter had to wait for four years before getting a title shot.

“There were moments in my career when I was already near to the title shot, but suddenly I lost the momentum due to circumstances that were beyond my control,” Leone recalled. “I really pushed myself very hard to reach the top. Finally after four years, I had the chance to vie for the world title.”

With some of the most talented combat sports athletes in Asia, Leone trains at the renowned Bali MMA gym in Bali, Indonesia. He affirmed that he still has gold on his mind, revealing that he views his upcoming meeting with Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, 30, of the Philippines as a chance to throw himself back into the world title mix.

Belingon has won four-straight contests since October 2016, including scintillating triumphs over ex-bantamweight title contenders such as Toni Tauru and Reece McLaren. Like Leone, the Baguio City resident also wants a second shot at the ONE Bantamweight World Championship after being submitted by Fernandes in January 2016.

On April 20, 2018, Leone and Belingon will headline “ONE: Heroes of Honor” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines.

When Leone challenged Fernandes on August 5, 2017 at “ONE: Kings and Conquerors,” the Brazilian champ submitted his American challenger via rear-naked choke at 1:47 of Round 1. Here is a clip from the b0ut:

​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.​ ​

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