In the main card for ONE Championship: Legends of the World, there were three thrilling stoppages while Kevin Belingon won his fourth straight bout, Friday evening at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Kevin Belingon makes claim as contender
In front of a raucous home crowd in Manila, Philippines, Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon just took another step towards his long-desired rematch with ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes.
The Filipino knockout artist turned in a stellar performance on Friday, 10 November, firing off a dazzling array of strikes to hand Kevin “Oldboy” Chung the first loss of his professional career.
With the first strike thrown in the contest, Belingon unleashed a nasty inside leg kick that blasted Chung. Unfortunately the strike glanced off Chung’s groin guard, which caused a pause in the contest for a few moments.
Upon the restart, “The Silencer” resumed his relentless assault with a kicking attack, as he started punishing Chung to the legs and body before finally going up high to the head.
Belingon even managed to throw a lightning quick spinning heel kick that stunned “Oldboy” as the barrage of strikes continued in rapid-fire fashion. The onslaught continued to the end of the round, with the the Team Lakay product continuously pushing for the finish in all areas. to Chung’s credit, he stayed composed, and made it to the second stanza.
The Filipino slowed down a little when the bout restarted, but he still exploded with an arsenal of kicks. “Oldboy,” however, searched for an opening to finally put together some offense of his own. With just over a minute to go, the South-Korean finally pressed forward before landing his first takedown of the contest. Belingon quickly scrambled out from bottom, getting back to his feet just before the round came to an end.
As the final five minutes of the bout got underway, Chung quickly looked for another takedown. While he was able to put Belingon on the mat, the match only stayed there for a matter of seconds before the Filipino exploded back to his feet.
While “Oldboy” definitely had better luck with his ground work in the second and third rounds, the Team Lakay veteran was quick to escape all of his submission attempts before uncorking his powerful strikes. Every shot Belingon threw looked like a potential knockout blow.
As the match came to an end, “The Silencer” celebrated as he was awarded the unanimous decision win. With his fourth consecutive victory, Belingon moves to 17-5, and puts himself even closer to a potential world title rematch with Fernandes.
As for Chung, he loses for the first time. His record now stands at 5-1, but Friday’s loss will serve as a learning lesson as he looks to rebound in the future.
Alex Silva makes quick work of previously-unbeaten Hayato Suzuki
A highly-anticipated showdown between two elite world-class grapplers ensued in the ONE Championship cage on Friday, 10 November. It was a tremendous showcase of ground technique, as Alex “Little Rock” Silva of Brazil made short work of Japan’s Hayato Suzuki, and impressed the crowd with an incredible display of Brazilian jiu-jitsu mastery.
In the end, it was Silva who emerged victorious, tapping Suzuki out with a deep armbar submission at 1:22 of round one.
Much has been said about Suzuki’s world-class wrestling and overall skill set, but in the end, none of it mattered, as the BJJ world champion from Evolve MMA showed off his skills.
After a brief feeling out period, Suzuki shot in for a double leg takedown. Although successful, the move turned out to be ill-advised. On the mat, Silva easily used a high rubber guard to bridge into mount before spinning into an armbar, which ended matters early.
With the victory, “Little Rock” earns his fifth straight win in ONE Championship — all by submission — and improves his professional record to 6-1. AMeanwhile, Suzuki suffers the first loss of his professional career, falling to 17-1-2 overall.
With such a sensational run, Silva is in a great position to make a run at the ONE Strawweight World Championship, which is currently held by Japan’s Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito.
Reece McLaren finds new passion in flyweight division
Reece McLaren may have experienced a difficult loss last August, but he has reinvented himself as a flyweight, and looks better than ever.
In a bout where the strategy was always going to be clear, the Australian BJJ black belt met striking specialist Anatpong “Mak Mak” Bunrad.
Thailand’s Bunrad took the initiative early on inside the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, but he would succumb to the grappling prowess of McLaren, who picked up a submission victory with only seconds left in the opening stanza.
“Mak Mak” had success with hard shots at the start of the first round, in particular, some head kicks that almost landed flush. However, McLaren was able to brush them off and keep moving forward. As Bunrad grew in confidence and over-committed to his strikes, “Lightning” ducked under, and used it to his advantage to secure the takedown.
Bunrad utilized his always-improving ground game to defend from the guard and eventually stand up, but he was slammed to the mat again swiftly. This time, there would be no return.
Chaining his submissions together beautifully, McLaren attacked with an arm triangle before transitioning to a tight D’Arce choke. In the process, he smoothly closed off all of Bunrad’s exits, and froced the Thai to tap out at the 4:52 mark.
“Lightning” picks up a marquee victory in his flyweight debut, and becomes the first person ever to stop Bunrad. After being a world title challenger at bantamweight, he will hope to go one better, and become world champion in the new weight class. He moves his professional record to 10-5.
Zhao Zhi Kang submits Thai Rithy
Heading into his ONE Championship debut, China’s Zhao Zhi Kang predicted a first-round submission against Kun Khmer expert Thai Rithy, and that is exactly what he delivered. Zhao needed less than three minutes to put Rithy on the mat, and finish the contest by rear-naked choke.
Cambodia’s Rithy came firing right out of the gate, and looked for a knockout on the very first exchange of the contest. However, his aggression allowed Zhao to duck under, and get a nice takedown against the cage wall.
The 22-year-old Zhao was relentless with his pressure, endlessly looking to advance his position before moving into the mount, as Rithy did his best to play defense from the bottom.
After flattening the Cambodian on the mat, Zhao slipped his forearm under the chin and locked in a rear-naked choke. Rithy had nowhere to go, and was forced to tap out at 2:31 of the opening round.
The Chinese featherweight moves to a 23-3 in his professional career, and make an impressive showing in his first appearance with ONE. He joins the ranks of a very deep division, and could emerge as a contender very soon.
ONE Championship: Legends of the World Results
November 10, 2017 – SM Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City
Bantamweight Bout: Kevin Belingon def. Kevin Chung via unanimous decision
Flyweight Bout: Alex Silva def. Hayato Suzuki via submission (armbar) in Round One, 1:22
Flyweight Bout: Reece McLaren def. Anatpong Bunrad via submission (d’arce choke) in Round One, 4:52
Feathweight Bout: Zhao Zhi Kang def. Thai Rithy via submission (rear naked choke) in Round One, 2:31
Story lifted from ONEFC.com