Fernandes vs Belingon thrilled in the ONE Heart of the Lion main event

ONE Heart of the Lion: Kevin Belingon ends Bibiano Fernandes’ 14 fight win streak, unifies ONE bantamweight gold

Singapore – Bibiano Fernandes’ eight year, 14 fight win streak ended in stunning fashion as Kevin Belingon eked out a close decision win to unify the ONE bantamweight belt at ONE Heart of the Lion. Recent high profile signees Demetrious Johnson, Eddie Alvarez, and Miesha Tate were among the luminaries in attendance to witness the stellar main event and a spirited MMA & kickboxing undercard.  Check out the full event video below courtesy of ONE to relive all of the action from ONE Heart of the Lion, and read on for recaps & clips of all the MMA action.

 

 

ONE Bantamweight Title:

 

Kevin Belingon (20-5, #24 World)

Split Decision, 5 Rounds

Bibiano Fernandes (22-4, #19 World)

The Singapore fans were treated to hard-hitting action from start-to-finish in a main event that saw Kevin Belingon end Bibiano Fernandes’ eight-year undefeated streak, and claim the undisputed ONE bantamweight title, by razor-thin split decision. Fernandes dominated much of round 1 with wrestling, but recently-crowned interim titleist Belingon retaliated late with a quartet of solid spinning kicks to body & head. “The Flash” really got things going in round 2 with a flush right hand that set up a takedown.  Bibiano had Belingon in armbar trouble late in the second, but Belingon popped out and finished the round landing serious damage from top position! Unfortunately for Belingon, all that punching left him tired and ripe for the picking in round 3. The Brazilian patiently found a home for both hands before ending the right battering his foe on the mat. Fernandes took it back to the ground early in the fourth round before advancing to side control and missing on another armbar. Just when things seemed to be trending in Fernandes’ direction, Belingon made things interesting with a huge right hand that rocked & dropped Bibiano in the final moments of round 4! Fernandes recovered quickly on his stool and proceeded to apply pressure. Yet it was Belingon who landed most of the late offense, enough to persuade two judges to score the bout in his favor here.  Too close to call this one a robbery, but it was a heartbreaking way for Fernandes to see his 14 fight win streak turn to dust.  Meanwhile, what a crowning achievement for 31 year old Filipino Kevin Belingon, who announced himself as one of the world’s elite at 135 pounds after falling short in his first attempt to dethrone Fernandes back in 2016.  Given how close and entertaining this fight was, expect a trilogy matchup in the near future.

 

 

ONE Heart of the Lion – MMA Bouts:

 

150/160: Christian Lee (10-3, #118 World)  TKO1  Kazuki Tokudome (18-10-1, #181 World)

This Singapore crowd went absolutely berserk as home fighter Christian Lee obliterated four-time UFC competitor Tokudome in just over half-a-round.  Tokudome burst forward for an early takedown but could get nothing done. On the feet, Lee announced his superiority with a cracking right hand before dropping Tokudome against the cage with an even better right. Lee’s ferocious followup GNP earned the 20 year old the biggest win yet in his nascent career.  Spectacular stuff from Evolve MMA’s Christian Lee, who did his family proud after sister Angela Lee was a late scratch from her scheduled title tilt with Xiong Jingnan.

 

 

W115/W125: Tiffany Teo (8-1, #63 World)  UD3  Michelle Nicolini (5-2, #54 World)

This was as close to a pure striker versus grappler match as you’ll see in 2018, with Nicolini dominating the grappling game in rounds 1 and 2. The Brazilian BJJ player whiffed on several armbar and leglock tries that used up the bulk of her energy in the first half of the contest. After a yellow card for inactivity from ref Olivier Coste, Teo amped up the pace in round 3 and picked apart the flagging Nicolini with rangy jabs set up by great footwork. Nice come-from-behind win for Teo, who snagged a fifth ONE triumph in front of her home crowd.

 

 

155/170: Adrian Pang (23-12-2, #453 World)  TKO1  Kota Shimoishi (21-7, #384 World)

Japan’s Shimoishi scored an early takedown, but his decision to swing for a leglock gave Australia’s Pang an opening to land some sharp ground strikes. One of those hammerfists ripped open a real fight-ender of a cut and forced the stoppage before the start of round 2. Tough luck for Shimoishi, who dropped his third straight fight.  Pang, who had dropped four straight decisions in the ONE cage, picked up his first win since TKO’ing Peter Davis back in 2015.

 

 

M115/125: D.S. Amnuaysirichoke (9-4)  Sub2   Himanshu Kaushik (4-3, #30 S.Asia)

Career-long ONE talent DSA continued his solid run through the world strawweight ranks with a dominant finish of Super Fight League veteran Kaushik.  Nice bounceback fight for DSA after he was finished in his previous two contests.

 

 

 

145/155: Garry Tonon (3-0)  Sub2  Sung Jong Lee (4-3, #39 S.Korea)

World renowned BJJ ace Garry Tonon is no one-trick pony as he proved again tonight against South Korea’s Lee.  Tonon has made impressive strides in the striking department and his wrestling timing looked impeccable. With supporting skills like that, expect to see plenty more submissions inside the cage from Tonon:

 

 

135/145: Shuya Kamikubo (9-1-1, #395 World)   UD3  Muhammed Aiman (5-3, #478 World)

Malaysia’s Aiman flashed sharp hands, but the 23 year old didn’t have the ground game to keep things upright against Pancrase vet Kamikubo.  The Team Honey Trap rep has scored two wins in two outings under the ONE banner.

 

135/145: Xie Bin Ma (6-1, #588 World)  Sub1  Hisyam Samsudin (2-4)

Twenty year old Chinese sensation Xie took advantage of this showcase opportunity with a slick first round D’Arce choke.  That makes four straight finishes and six straight wins overall for Xie.

 

 

145/155: Anthony Engelen (7-4, #34 SE Asia)  KO1  Meas Meu (6-3, #13 SE Asia)

Dutch native Engelen got back in the win column in no time at all, thanks to a crushing head kick finish of Full Metal Dojo alum Meu.  Nasty stuff

 

 

 

ONE Heart of the Lion – Kickboxing Highlights:

 

 

 

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