There is no denying that Enkh-Orgil Baatarkhuu has become a sought-after figure in the Philippines, especially in Benguet, after defeating two mixed martial artists from Team Lakay.
Now, a former member of the legendary stable aims to test the skills of the highly-touted Mongolian bruiser within the ONE Championship organization.
Kevin Belingon, the former ONE bantamweight champion now representing Lions Nation MMA, has expressed his willingness to share the stage with Baatarkhuu following the latter’s second-round submission victory over Jhanlo Sangiao at ONE Fight Night 13 last weekend, a feat accomplished under the mentorship of former ONE featherweight titleholder Narantungalag Jadamba.
“Of course, of course! I want to face him,” Belingon responded to Tiebreaker Times when asked about the potential matchup.
The 35-year-old power hitter from Kiangan, Ifugao, promptly acknowledged Baatarkhuu’s talents, particularly highlighting the Road To ONE: Mongolia grand winner’s proficiency in grappling.
“We all know he’s a very strong wrestler and grappler. That’s his strength,” Belingon shared.
Baatarkhuu’s dominant clinch work and controlling ground game have propelled his success in the promotion. It began with his three-round domination of Team Lakay’s Adonis Sevilleno back in April. Nearly a month later, the Mongolian continued his winning streak by stopping the Thailand-based Filipino journeyman Rockie Bactol with just one second remaining in the first round.
His latest conquest came in the form of Sangiao, whom he submitted with a painful Kimura lock in the second round.
With Baatarkhuu riding high on momentum, Belingon sees an opportunity to reclaim his standing in the division.
“The Silencer” has experienced five consecutive losses since surrendering the bantamweight title to Brazilian rival Bibiano Fernandes in March 2019. In his recent bout, Belingon suffered a first-round technical knockout from South Korean standout Kim Jae Woong.
Searching for the optimal path to recovery, a showdown against Baatarkhuu holds Belingon’s interest.
“I think this will be a great fight for me if it happens. It would truly test my ground game and striking abilities as well,” he remarked.
Known for his striking prowess, Belingon aspires to evaluate his grappling skills against a proven ground specialist like Baatarkhuu.
“I feel like I will have the upper hand in striking, but I’ve been diligently working on my grappling and BJJ,” he stated.
It’s worth noting that Belingon was awarded a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu by Prof. Gibran Langbayan this past April.
However, Belingon offered a word of caution to Baatarkhuu, suggesting that if the Mongolian were to engage in striking within his comfort zone, he should be prepared for the consequences.
“I saw in his fight against Jhanlo, he was really feeling the strikes coming from Jhanlo. He even got cut and knocked down, so I think I can knock him out if I face him,” Belingon confidently declared.
“I believe he’ll experience the force of my punches.”