On January 27, 2019, ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong took to Facebook to confirm the trilogy between Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, 31, of Kiangan, Ifugao, Philippines and Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes, 38, of Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil. The Filipino fighter is the reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion while his Brazilian rival is the former titleholder.
The third time Belingon and Fernandes are fighting in the ONE Championship cage will be one of the title fights at “ONE: A New Era,” which will take place on March 31, 2019 at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan. It will be the first ever ONE Championship event to take place in Japan.
Training out of Team Lakay in Baguio City, Philippines, Belingon is the third fighter to hold the ONE Bantamweight World Championship title. He earned the title by defeating Fernandes via split decision during their rematch at “ONE: Heart of the Lion” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore on November 9, 2018.
The first ONE Bantamweight World Championship titleholder was Soo Chul Kim, 27, of Wonju, Gangwon-do, South Korea. He became the inaugural champion of ONE Championship’s bantamweight division by knocking out Leandro “Brodinho” Issa, 35, of Ubatuba, Sao Paulo, Brazil at “ONE: Rise of Kings” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on October 6, 2012.
On October 18, 2013, Fernandes became the second ONE Bantamweight World Championship titleholder by dethroning Kim at “ONE: Total Domination” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The Brazilian fighter reigned for five years, successfully defending the title seven times.
Belingon was the fourth fighter to challenge Fernandes. The Brazilian defending champion submitted his Filipino challenger during their first encounter at “ONE: Dynasty of Champions” at the Changsa Stadium in Changsa, China on January 23, 2016.
Reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 35, of Baguio City will compete in the main event of “ONE: A New Era.” Belingon’s Team Lakay teammate will defend his title from in a rematch with former champion Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki, 35, of Nerima, Tokyo, Japan.
There will be two “ONE: A New Era” co-main events. ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela “Unstoppable” Lee, 22, of Singapore will challenge ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan, 31, of China.
Ken Hasegawa, 31, of Japan will have his rematch with ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang, 33, of Myanmar. The Japanese challenger will make an attempt to capture the middleweight belt of the Burmese defending champion.
Meanwhile, watch Belingon’s signature Ifugao dance ring walkout here: