Bibiano Fernandes Regains ONE Title Via Brutal Disqualification

Bibiano Fernandes

ONE bantamweight champion Kevin Belingon and former champion Bibiano Fernandes met in a trilogy match on the main card of today’s (Sun., March 31, 2019) ONE Championship: A New Era from Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.

The bout was an immediate rematch of their closely-contested second fight at November’s ONE: Heart of the Lion. Belingon won that fight by split decision. In doing so, he avenged his submission loss to longtime veteran Fernandes in January 2016.

The stage was set for the top-ranked bantamweights to finally settle the score of their long-standing rivalry in Tokyo.

Round One:

The fight began with a measured start. It picked up when Fernandes went for a takedown. Belingon reversed and landed. Belingon threw his trademark spinning back kick, but Fernandes then opened up. He rocked Beling with a powerful overhand right and followed Belingon around the cage with a ton of huge shots. The former champ poured it on. He took Belingon down and went to work in half guard. The issue for Fernandes was Belingon had time to recover. Fernandes landed little damage from top position. Until he took Belingon’s back, however. He ended landing big punches from back mount. A dominant opening round from the former champion.

Round Two:

Belingon threw a hook to open the second round. The action was slowed for a moment. Belingon threw effective leg kicks. He scored with a big right hand that followed, appearing to find his rhythm. Belingon landed his spinning back kick to the midsection again. Fernandes scored a left hand. He got another takedown against the fence. He landed a big elbow and ended the round in top position.

Overall, a much better round for the champion, however.

Round Three:

Fernandes pressed with some wild punches early in the third. They missed for the most part. Belingon kept his movement and landed a light punch. He was then taken down by Fernandes again. But then, controversy arose when Fernandes was badly hurt by an elbow to back of the head. The action was stopped for five minutes.

Eventually the fight was called and Belingon was made the new bantamweight champion.

Final Result: Bibiano Fernandes def. Kevin Belingon via disqualification (illegal strike)