“I’m the icon of a new generation. That’s how I feel. That’s what I believe is going to happen,” he said.
The 25 year old could not be accused of lacking ambition. He is well aware of Belingon’s past achievements but is adamant he will overtake the Filipino eventually,
“Belingon is really an amazing athlete. But in some ways, I’ve already caught up to many of his past accomplishments. I’m dreaming of things much more and beyond.”
Kwon is a man in a hurry and hopes that a win over Belingon would be enough to earn him a title shot,
“I know that there are many great athletes in the top five, but if I beat Kevin Belingon, who was the previous champion , I think I am more qualified than any other athlete to be the next contender,” he said.
Belingon hasn’t won a fight since 2018 but the Korean rejects the idea that the former champion is past his prime,
“I believe Belingon is still in his prime right now. All the opponents I’ve gone up against so far were all champions that I think are in their primes, so that gives me the entitlement to compete for the world title by defeating them.”
Kwon had not even made his ONE Championship debut when Belingon won his last fight. Since then the Korean has won five fights of his own inside the circle with every single victory coming inside the distance.
But none of the opponents have been of the same calibre as Bibiano Fernandes who was the last fighter Belingon beat. Kwon is aware the Filipino has a big advantage in terms of experience,
“He’s tough. He’s strong. He has strong punches. He has a good kick, he is someone who’s good at striking. And he’s also someone with a lot of experience,” he said.
His ONE Championship wins have all come courtesy of punches. Kwon thinks his success is down to timing rather than power,
“I’ve never been concerned about punching power. I don’t care. Because I believe, when it comes to a punch, it’s more about the timing than the power.”
He is eight years younger than Belingon. Kwon has not managed to crack the top five yet, let along beat the champion like his opponent did.
But the Korean believes he will be an icon and he will be looking to score an iconic win at ONE: ‘Winter Warriors’ Part II.