Kevin Belingon ginamit ang lakas upang manalo laban kay Bibiano Fernandes

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Ang bagong kampeon na si ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin Belingon ng Team Lakay ay sinabi ang mga kahinaang nakita niya at ng kanyang team kay Bibiano Fernandes kasunod ng split victory sa main event ng ONE: HEART OF THE LION sa Singapore Indoor Stadium nitong Biyernes, ika-9 ng Nobyembre.

Kevin Belingon (ONE Championship photo)

Kevin Belingon (ONE Championship photo)

Ang 31 anyos na laking Baguio City ay binigla si Fernandes sa pagsuntok at pag-iwas sa sunod-sunod na tira ng dating Brazilian champion.

Ayon kay Belingon, hindi na ang dating martial artist na una niyang nakilala dalawang taon nang nakararaan si Fernandes.

“We watched his previous bouts. We noticed that he’s strong in the first two rounds, and he then fades going into the third. I think he’s on a decline because of age. He was better when I first fought him in 2016,” sabi ni Belingon.

“When I did ground-and-pound, many of my punches landed on the jaw, but he’s tough. When the knockdown in the fourth round came, I thought that it was the end, but he was saved by the bell. Bibiano is a really tough fighter and can absorb punishment,” dagdag pa niya.

Noong 2016 ay halos apat na minuto lamang ang kinailangan ni Fernandes upang mapasuko si Belingon sa opening round pero sa rematch ay gustong patunayan ni Belingon na mas mahusay na martial artist na siya.

“I wanted to prove that my grappling has improved. I was also more confident to do ground-and-pound when I was in the mount position, which was one of the techniques we practiced at the gym. I grabbed that opportunity when it came and then unleashed my powerful punches. It’s just that he’s good at absorbing punches,” pagdidiin niya.

“In our first bout, I charged that to experience. My jiu-jitsu back then was like for a grade one student. I had no technique and had no confidence should it come to the ground, so it was some of those that challenged me to improve our ground game,” patuloy niyang paliwanag.

Inamin ni Belingon na hindi ganoon kadaling makalaban si Fernandes sa ground pero nilinaw din niya na mas handa siya sa sitwasyon kung sa mat natapos ang laban.

“I was wary with his takedowns because there’s always a second attempt if he should fail to get it in his first try. When we went to the mat, he didn’t want to let go, so what he did was stay there and do ground-and-pound,” pag-amin niya.

“Each time he makes a submission attempt, there is a small window for me to escape. And when he tried to look for a submission, he always had a follow-up attempt. I was just able to match him when it comes to power,” pagpapatuloy ni Belingon.

Maliban sa pag-aaral ng mabuti ng jiu-jitsu, napagtanto ni Belingon na kaya niyang makalaban si Fernandes sa ground kung paguusapan ang lakas.

“When he took me down, I was able to assess his power and realized that I could match him in that aspect, so it gave me confidence that I could defend his submission attempts,” pagbabahagi niya.

Ngunit, ang mas nagpagulat sa Team Lakay ay ang kakayahan ng Brazilian na tumayo at patuloy na makipaglaban buong gabi.

“We were surprised to see him match me in striking. In his previous bouts he went to strike and shoot, but this time he exchanged on our feet,” banggit ni Belingon.

Sa kabila ng nakakapagod na pangalawang laban nila ni Fernandes sa ONE: HEART OF THE LION, hindi niya ito ipinakita at hindi nagyabang lalo nang itinaas na ang kanyang kamay dahil sa pagkapanalo.

“The outcome was so fulfilling. All the years of hard work had brought me into this moment. I am thankful for my coaches and teammates, who never gave up on me. This is for them,” pagtatapos ni Belingon.