Belingon seeks to extend Lakay’s rematch win steak
WITH another rematch, Team Lakay's Kevin Belingon sees the stakes are higher when he goes up against One Championship bantamweight world champion Bibiano Fernandes in their grudge match on November 9.
This year, the team have found themselves in rematches with championships on the line thrice, and each time, they have come out with gold wrapped around their waists.
Geje Eustaquio kicked off the year with a rematch against former flyweight world champion Kairat Akhmetov in January, a do-over of their controversial 2017 meeting that saw Akhmetov win via split decision.
With the interim flyweight world championship on the line in their second encounter, Eustaquio bested Akhmetov via unanimous decision to avenge his 2017 loss, but more importantly become a world champion for the first time.
In June of the same year, Eustaquio found himself in yet another rematch, this time against then-reigning ONE flyweight world champion Adriano Moraes in a title-unification bout.
Again, when it mattered most, Eustaquio pulled out all the stops and outworked Moraes en route to a fiveround unanimous decision victory to leave Macau, China as the new undisputed flyweight king.
“They say victory is sweeter the second time around,” said Eustaquio, who has earned the moniker of “The King of the Rematch”, “In my case, I usually perform better and come out victorious in rematches because I’ve already gotten a feel for my opponent.”
“I also believe that my development is faster than that of my opponent, which is why I outperform them when we share the cage again,” he added.
The flyweight star has won all three of his career rematches so far, including one nonBONTOC,
title rematch against Thailand’s Anatpong Bunrad.
But it is not just Eustaquio who has found success the second time around.
Just recently in Jakarta, Indonesia, strawweight star Joshua Pacio triumphantly avenged the first loss of his career by edging out Japanese grappling sensation Yoshitaka Naito via unanimous decision after five rounds to be crowned the new ONE strawweight world champion.
It was a rematch of their 2016 encounter for the strawweight title, which resulted in a third-round submission win for Naito.
Hoping to follow in his teammates’ footsteps, Belingon also is determined to even the score with Fernandes, who was dominant in their first encounter back in 2016.
“I am super excited.
Finally the long wait is over, and now I’m fighting Bibiano Fernandes for the undisputed bantamweight title. Ever since the night I lost to him the first time in China, this moment has been all that I have looked forward to,” Belingon expressed.
FOCUSED. One Championship interim bantamweight champion Kevin Belingon goes for the jugular when he goes up against Bibiano Fernandes in their highly anticipated rematch on November 9.