When it comes to a classic fistfight, it is safe to say that Brazilian John Lineker was the strongest opponent so far for Team Lakay’s Kevin Belingon.
The former UFC veteran proved to be too much for Belingon after scoring a technical knockout win in ONE: Inside the Matrix III last Friday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
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Lineker landed a lethal uppercut in the second round which wobbled the Team Lakay fighter and followed up a few punches as Belingon kneeled down the canvas and curled up for defense at the corner.
“Siya yung parang pinakamalakas kasi siya yung naka-TKO sa akin,” the No. 1 bantamweight Belingon told Filipino sportswriters in a virtual conference Monday.
Belingon has not suffered a knockout loss out the entirety of his professional mixed martial arts career until Lineker’s finisher. Only decisions and submissions made Belingon yield to his opponents.
For instance, the 33-year-old Team Lakay stalwart lost first to current champion Bibiano Fernandes in 2016 via kimura lock before bearing two straight defeats in 2019 with a disqualification and a rear-naked choke.
Belingon prefers to finish the fight standing since his striking prowess comes from wushu style, highlighted by quick punches and flashy spinning back kicks and back fists.
Lineker, the No. 5 in the bantamweight rank, lived up to his moniker “Hands of Stone” and gave “The Silencer” a taste of his own medicine.
“Ibang-iba talaga ‘yung performance ko doon kumpara sa mga previous na laban ko. Parang nawala ‘yung angas ba,” reflected Belingon, who now holds a 20-8 record. “Si John Lineker naman, alam natin kung paano siya lumaro. Pero sa tingin ko nga iba talaga yung performance ko doon. Kasi nag-review ko fight video namin, iba talaga.”
Despite three straight losses, Belingon assured that he isn’t going anywhere and plans to traverse the path en route to another crack at the bantamweight belt.