ONE Championship has added a whopping fourth title fight to its March 31 debut in Tokyo, Japan, and it’s a big one.
In addition to the three title fights already on the ONE: A New Era bill, the card will now also feature the first title defense of new bantamweight champion Kevin Belingon. Belingon will defend the title against the man he won it from at ONE: Heart of the Lion in November, bantamweight legend Bibiano Fernandes.
ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong announced this news on social media on Sunday.
“As promised when I first announced the initial bouts for ONE: A New Era in December, I am excited to present the trilogy fight between current ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin Belingon and former ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano Fernandes for March 31 in Tokyo! Without a doubt, it will be another epic war with big fireworks for the final chapter between two of the world’s greatest martial artists. Also, Muay Thai Superstar Rodtang Jitmuangnon will bring his dynamite KO style to Tokyo.
“Without a doubt, ONE: A New Era on March 31 in Tokyo is slated to be the greatest event in the history of ONE Championship yet, featuring ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang vs Shinya Aoki as the main event as well as some of our biggest superstars on the rest of the card. The co-main events will feature ONE Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee vs ONE Strawweight World Champion Xiong Jingnan, ONE Middleweight World Champion Aung La Nsang vs Ken Hasegawa, and ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin Belingon vs Bibiano Fernandes. Also, the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix kicks off with all 8 of the greatest flyweights in the world set to compete together on March 31. In addition, multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion Yodsanklai Fairtex will battle multiple-time Kickboxing World Champion Andy Souwer in a “Champion vs Champion” Super Fight for the ages. And of course, ONE: A New Era will also feature the debuts of the greatest pound-for-pound mixed martial artist on the planet 11x UFC Flyweight World Champion Demetrious Johnson as well as Eddie Alvarez, the only man in history to hold both UFC and Bellator world titles! BOOM!!!” – ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong on Facebook.
This will be the third time Kevin Belingon and Bibiano Fernandes have met. Prior to his November decision defeat of Fernandes, Belingon was submitted by the Brazilian legend in 2016.
The other three title fights scheduled for ONE Championship’s Tokyo debut are as follows: A middleweight title rematch between two-division champion Aung La N Sang and fearsome Japanese challenge Ken Hasegawa, a lightweight title fight between reigning champ Eduard Folayang and Japanese legend Shinya Aoki, and a women’s strawweight title fight between divisional queen Xiong Jing Nan and atomweight champion Angela Lee, who is moving up in a bid to become a two-division champion.
The card will also feature the ONE Championship debuts of former UFC champs Eddie Alvarez and Demetrious Johnson, who will battle Timofey Nastyukhin and Yuya Wakamatsu respectively, as well as a ONE Super Series Kickboxing Grand Prix bout between Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex and Andy Souwer.
Suffice it to say that this ONE Championship card can be called a Card of the Year contender without any exaggeration. It all goes down on March 31 inside the 11,000 seat Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 1/27/2019.