Kevin Belingon is a man in need of a win. His last victory was in 2018 and the former bantamweight champion is on a run of four straight stoppage losses.

Things first started to go wrong for Belingon when he was disqualified in his first title defence. The Filipino landed a series of elbows to the back of Bibiano Fernandes’ head in 2019 and the Brazilian was unable to continue.

He was submitted by Fernandes a few months later in the fourth meeting between the pair. Second round stoppage losses at the hands of John Lineker and Kwon Won Il would follow and it seems like a long time ago that the 35 year old was the bantamweight king.


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Desperate man

Belingon returns next week at ONE on Prime Video 4 and admits he is desperate for a win,

“I’m a desperate man and I’m desperate for a win here. I want to break the curse, end that consecutive losing streak, and start a (winning) streak of my own.”

Belingon’s recent defeats all came at the hands of elite opponents. But he feels he was lacking in confidence heading into some of those contests,

“I think looking back at my losses, my confidence was an issue. I feel like I’m more confident and decisive entering this fight, that’s one thing that I’m looking at in this match. Even though I’ll be facing a bigger opponent this time, my confidence is solid.”


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Hard hitting

He takes on the hard hitting Kim Jae Woong, a man who was in the title mix himself until suffering back to back losses. Belingon feels he did not prepare properly for some of his previous fights but is adamant that won’t be the case this time around,

“Building confidence comes with preparation. I feel like I lacked preparation over my past fights. Now, I feel like I have sufficient time to prepare for this fight.”

Kim has been in some wars and none of his six ONE Championship fights has been the distance. He has knocked out three opponents, including Martin Nguyen, but has either been stopped with strikes or submitted himself on three occasions.

Belingon, who beat Nguyen by decision, knows that he will have to be wary of his opponent’s striking,

“Kim’s striking is definitely his strength. His boxing is one of the things that is noteworthy, he’s really strong. We’ve seen his previous fights, his punches have weight and can seriously hurt people.”

Pivotal fight

Belingon has been on the roster since 2012 and doesn’t appear to be contemplating retirement. But the 35 year old knows that opportunities could become increasingly scarce if he continues to lose.

For this reason Belingon believes this will be a pivotal fight,

“This is such an important fight for me, especially since it’s been a while since I won.”

He needs to avoid the power punches of Kim and knows he can’t afford to make any mistakes,

“I really have to watch out for his hands. He has legitimate power, and I can’t relax.”

But Belingon believes he has more weapons than Kim, at least in terms of the striking. He thinks the diversity of his arsenal could make the difference,

“My advantage would also be my striking. I feel like my striking arsenal is more complete than his, just because of the fact that I can use my kicks effectively.”

Back to back

Woong lost his spot in the top five at featherweight after losing back to back fights. Had he beaten Tang Kai the Korean would have been challenging for the title but instead he is seeking a new challenge in a different division.

Belingon knows his opponent will be three inches taller but he has been dealing with bigger opponents throughout his career. The Filipino also thinks Kim might struggle with his weight cut,

“This will also be his first time moving down to bantamweight, so I expect him to struggle for a bit and I think that will be a big advantage for me.”

Heading into this contest Belingon seems to have a ‘win at all costs’ mentality. This will be his 21st ONE Championship fight and he is determined to win it,

“If an opportunity to knock him out presents itself, I’ll take it. If an opportunity to submit him presents itself, I’ll take it. Anything that can make me get back to the winning track, I’ll take it.”