The next challenger of reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes, 38, of Brazil will be the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion. The latter will be determined on July 27, 2018 at “ONE: Reign of Kings,” which will take place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines.
On June 7, 2018, ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong took to Facebook to announce some of the bouts on the “ONE: Reign of Kings” fight card. He confirmed that reigning ONE Featherweight and Lightweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, 29, of Australia and Vietnam and Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, 30, of the Philippines are set to compete for the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion title.
Sityodtong did not confirm whether or not the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship bout between Nguyen and Belingon will be the main event of “ONE: Reign of Kings.” What the ONE Championship chairman and CEO confirmed was that Belingon’s fellow Team Lakay fighter and former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang is also on the fight card.
The last time Nguyen competed at the SM Mall of Asia Arena was November 10, 2017. He became the first ever two-division world champion of ONE Championship by knocking out Folayang via punches at “ONE: Legends of the World.”
After capturing the ONE Lightweight World Champion belt from Folayang, Nguyen made an attempt to win his third world title by challenging Fernades. However, Fernandes successfully kept his ONE Bantamweight World Champion belt by defeating Nguyen via split decision at “ONE: Iron Will” on March 24, 2018.
On May 18, 2018, Nguyen redeemed himself by successfully defending his ONE Featherweight World Champion belt from Christian “The Warrior” Lee, 19, of Singapore at “ONE: Unstoppable Dreams.” It was the second time Lee lost to Nguyen.
Currently, Nguyen holds a professional mixed martial arts record of 11 wins and 2 losses. On the other hand, Belingon now has 18 wins and 5 losses.
The last time Belingon lost in the cage was on January 23, 2016. He was submitted by Fernandes via kimura at “ONE: Dynasty of Champions.”
After losing to Fernandes, Belingon bounced back with a five-bout winning streak by conquering Muin Gafurov at “ONE: State of Warriors,” Toni Tauru at “ONE: Kings of Destiny,” Reece McLaren at “ONE: Quest for Greatness,” Kevin Chung at “ONE: Legends of the World” and Andrew Leone of “ONE: Heroes of Honor.”
Here is a short interview with Belingon prior to his bout against Leone: