MANILA -- Kevin Belingon became the latest addition to the list of Filipino mixed martial arts champions after beating Bibiano Fernandes via split decision for the unified One bantamweight championships in the One: Heart of Lion at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday.
Now a far cry from the first time they met, Belingon found himself getting loose from Fernandes' ground game and getting his striking prowess going.
Fernandes struggled to find his grappling game as Belingon connceted on huge strikes in the first two rounds.
Not helping the Brazilian's cause was a point deduction slapped for a low blow.
Fernandes thought he got Belingon after dropping him to the ground late into Round 3 and unleashing a ground-and-pound assault, but Belingon was just saved by the bell.
Fernandes had another chance to submit Belingon in Round 4 after getting an armbar attempt, but Belingon quickly slipped out of the grapple and even came close to knocking out Fernandes at the end of the round.
Belingon then went on his stand-up game to keep Fernandes from achieving a takedown.
The result put to an end Fernandes' 14-fight winning streak that spanned eight years.
Meanwhile, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat is all praises to Belingon after the feat.
"Belingon embodied the Ifugao fighting spirit and values of perseverance and hard work, helping him prevail... over [Bibiano] Fernandes, thus ending the Brazilian’s eight year, 14-fight streak," Baguilat said in a statement on Saturday.
Belingon hails from the town of Kiangan.
Baguilat also expressed optimism on Belingon now that he joins Brandon Vera and fellow Team Lakay stalwarts Joshua Pacio and Geje Eustaquio as mixed martial arts champs under the One Championship banner, saying that he "is confident that even greater things are in store for the proud Ifugao." (PNA)
Photo from MMA Weekly