Former ONE bantamweight champion Kevin Belingon doesn’t expect his showdown with UFC veteran John Lineker to go the distance.
The two hard-hitting bantamweights are set to collide in the main event of ONE: Inside the Matrix III, a previously-recorded event from Singapore scheduled for air on Friday, November 13th (SGT).
Belingon can’t wait to get his hands on Lineker, who many feel is the hardest test in his career thus far.
“Ever since John Lineker signed with ONE, all I’ve been hearing and reading from the fans is Belingon versus Lineker. Now it’s finally here, and I’m excited for it. Expect fireworks. Expect it to be a good one,” Kevin Belingon said of the matchup.
“John Lineker is one of the toughest fighters I will ever face. He’s not an opponent to be taken lightly. He’s got a lot of experience, and a lot of power in his hands, which is why he is known to end fights early.”
Lineker is an embattled veteran, earning his stripes by traversing the bantamweight routes throughout the UFC, which resulted in some of the most exciting wins in recent memory, and a handful of performance bonuses. He earned his nickname, “Hands of Stone,” care of the tremendous punching power latent in his fists.
Belingon hardly expects a technical matchup against Lineker, and is instead preparing himself for an all out war.
“We have watched his previous fights and we’re confident we can come up with the right game plan for whatever he brings to the table,” Belingon said. “I have to win this fight to prove that I deserve to stay as the number one contender. One look, and it’s easy to see that we’re both hard hitters, and that’s the reason why this matchup is so exciting.”
“You all know how I fight, I fight moving forward. So this is going to be a very exciting matchup. I don’t think this is going the distance, with the way we both attack. I want to put on a good show for the fans.”
Of course, power isn’t the only thing Belingon should be worried about with Lineker. The Brazilian didn’t get to where he’s at today by being a one-trick pony. Despite being three years younger than his Filipino adversary, Lineker has nearly double the fight experience.
Lineker owns victories over some of the biggest bantamweight names in the sport, including wins over John Dodson, Marlon Vera, Rob Font, Michael McDonald, and Ian McCall.
Belingon, on the other hand, has had four well-publicized fights with reigning ONE bantamweight champ Bibiano Fernandes, as well as victories over top-ranked talent Reece McLaren, and former two-division ONE titleholder Martin Nguyen.
Belingon feels he owns all the major advantages over Lineker, especially in a few key areas.
“It will be very interesting given our styles and I plan to keep it that way. At the end of the day, I hope to get my hands raised. I believe I’m quicker than him. I think I’m more agile and have better endurance – those are just some of the advantages that I believe I have in this match,” Belingon said.
“I’ve prepared the same way, just like I have prepared for my previous fights. I never underestimate any of my opponents. That’s not a good thing to do inside the Circle. Every fight is dangerous.”
ONE: Inside the Matrix III is ONE Championship’s latest offering. The show includes performances from Belingon’s Team Lakay teammates, former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, and rising strawweight star Lito Adiwang. Also on the card is the much-anticipated mixed martial arts debut of two-time former ADCC World Champion Yuri Simoes.
While KEvin Belingon can’t promise how this fight will go, he wants to assure his fans that he will definitely end the night early if there’s an opening.
“I don’t like predicting things because, in a fight, we can never really tell. But make no mistake about it – I’ll go for the knockout if the opportunity presents itself,” Belingon said.