Former ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon has extinguished a record six men in his division by knockout – but come Friday night, he’ll find himself standing across the Circle from an opponent who hits just as hard.
The Filipino will throw down with Brazil’s John “Hands of Stone” Lineker in the main event of ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX III, a previously recorded event from the Singapore Indoor Stadium that airs on 13 November.
“One look, and it’s easy to see that we’re both hard hitters,” Belingon said. “That’s the reason why this matchup is so exciting.
“It will be very interesting given our styles, and I plan to keep it that way. At the end of the day, I hope to get my hands raised.”
It won’t be an easy task for the #1-ranked bantamweight. “Hands of Stone” will be just as determined to win, and the Brazilian is riding the momentum of his debut victory over tough-as-they-come Muin “Tajik” Gafurov.
Belingon, though, has been keeping a close eye on his opponent and knows exactly what he’s getting himself into.
“Ever since John Lineker signed with ONE, all I’ve been hearing and reading from the fans is Belingon versus Lineker,” he said.
“Now it’s finally here, and I’m excited for it. Expect fireworks. Expect it to be a good one.”
Given the record and power of each man, their matchup may come down to who lands the first clean shot – and “The Silencer” trusts that he’ll be the one to do it.
“I believe I’m quicker than him,” Belingon said. “I think I’m more agile and have better endurance – those are just some of the advantages that I believe I have in this match.”
According to the former World Champion, he has another advantage heading into this showdown. Because Team Lakay athletes kept themselves busy throughout the COVID-19 layoff, Belingon never let his conditioning fall by the wayside.
“I thought we were able to adjust well and adapt to the changes that the pandemic brought. That’s why I believe I’m in good shape,” he said.
“We’ve been preparing at home, making the most out of the limitations, just to make sure we were in good condition once we started our camp for this.”
If you ask the man from the Philippines how he thinks Friday’s bout is going to unfold, he might not give a definitive answer – but he does give an exciting one.
“I don’t like predicting things because, in a fight, we can never really tell,” Belingon said.
“But make no mistake about it – I’ll go for the knockout if the opportunity presents itself.”
Also, Channel 5 will air the event on a next-day delay at 12:30 a.m. SGT on Saturday, 14 November.
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