Belin­gon up­beat vs Leone in ONE Cham­pi­onship

The Philippine Star - - SPORTS - By OLMIN LEYBA

Filipino star Kevin Belin­gon and Amer­i­can An­drew Leone head­line ONE Cham­pi­onship’s ONE: He­roes of Honor card this Fri­day at the MOA Arena.

Belin­gon of the famed Team Lakay sta­ble vows to show­case the strik­ing prow­ess that made him suc­cess­ful in his last four fights as well an im­proved ground skills against Leone, a highly dec­o­rated wrestler and jiu jitsu black bel­ter, as he aims to ce­ment his sta­tus as the top con­tender to in­jured ONE ban­tamweight world champ Bib­iano Fernandes.

“I trained hard for this, es­pe­cially in wrestling and grap­pling tech­niques,” Belin­gon said dur­ing yes­ter­day’s kick­off at City of Dreams Manila. “I’m ready for this and I’m very ex­cited to per­form in front of my kababayans.”

“Kevin is an amaz­ing op­po­nent and I look for­ward to go­ing out there and com­pete to the best of my abil­i­ties,” said Leone, who vowed to en­gage Belin­gon first in strik­ing be­fore launch­ing his take­down.

ONE: He­roes of Honor is set to be a his­toric event, ac­cord­ing to ONE Cham­pi­onship chair­man and CEO Cha­tri Si­ty­o­d­tong, as the global sports me­dia prop­erty giant kicks off the ONE Su­per Se­ries, a show­case of the world’s most ef­fec­tive strik­ing arts, and its new five-rope ring.

Ban­ner­ing ONE Su­per Se­ries is the ex­plo­sive duel be­tween Ital­ian leg­end Gior­gio Pet­rosyan, con­sid­ered the great­est kick­boxer of his gen­er­a­tion, against “Smok­ing” Jo Nat­tawut, a USbased Thai kick­boxer known for his pow­er­ful kicks and ag­gres­sive style.

“I’m very happy to come here for the first time and fight here. As al­ways, I pre­pared very well, ready to give a good per­for­mance for every­one to par­tic­i­pate,” said Pet­rosyan, who boasts an in­cred­i­ble 85-2-2 record high­lighted by a 42-bout streak over six years.

“He’s a very tal­ented fighter but I’m ready,” said Nat­tawut.

ERNIE PEÑAREDONDO

The Phl’s Kevin Belin­gon (left) and An­drew Leone come face-to-face dur­ing the ONE Cham­pi­onship launch at the City of Dreams yes­ter­day.

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