Those who follow One Championship long ago familiarized themselves with Kevin Belingon.
The Lakay MMA export and wushu stylist has compiled an 11-8 record across 19 appearances in the Singapore-based organization, cementing himself as one of its most trusted, consistent and recognizable competitors. Belingon debuted in One Championship in 2012 and alternated wins and losses through his first five outings. From there, “The Silencer” emerged as a true contender at 145 pounds, piecing together a seven-fight winning streak between Oct. 7, 2016 and Nov. 9, 2018. Belingon has since fallen back to the pack on the heels of three straight losses. He last competed on Oct. 30, when he succumbed to second-round punches from Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran John Lineker in the One Championship “Inside the Matrix 3” main event.
As Belingon awaits word on his next assignment from One Championship matchmakers, here are five things you might not know about the Filipino star:
1. He defied cultural odds.
Belingon was born on Oct. 30, 1987 in Kiangan, Philippines—a city of some 17,000 people in the Ifugao province located roughly 145 miles north of Manila. According to a 2019 report from the Philippine Statistics Authority, nearly one-quarter (24.2%) of the city’s population lives below the poverty line.
2. He followed in his coach’s academic footsteps.
“The Silencer” earned a degree in criminology from the University of the Cordilleras in Baguio, Philippines. Among the school’s notable alumni: Mark Sangiao, founder of the Team Lakay gym where Belingon has long trained.
3. A fast start made for a quick rise.
Belingon won his first nine fights as a professional and captured the Universal Reality Combat Championship flyweight title before signing with One Championship in 2012. Five of those nine victories resulted in first-round finishes. Belingon submitted Roldan Cartajena with an armbar 8:42 into their URCC 11 clash on Nov. 25, 2007, dispatched Magellan Perez with a kimura 4:01 into their URCC 12 pairing on July 5, 2008, put away Ngoo Ditty with punches 2:51 into their Martial Combat 2 confrontation on May 13, 2010, dismissed Dalai Bayin with a rear-naked choke 4:26 into their Legend Fighting Championship 3 battle on Sept. 24, 2010 and cut down Isaac Tuling with a head kick and punches 6:25 into their URCC 19 encounter on April 2, 2011.
4. He has already brought some permanence to his resume.
Belingon remains one of only three men—Soo Chul Kim and archrival Bibiano Fernandes are the others—who have held the One Championship bantamweight title. He ruled the division for 142 days, from Nov. 9, 2018 to March 31, 2019.
5. Only a select few have solved him.
Just six opponents have cracked Belingon’s code: Fernandes (three times), Kim, Lineker, Masakazu Imanari, Masakatsu Ueda and Dae Hwan Kim. They own a combined record of 153-51-5 (.739) and feature 87 finishes between them.