Kevin Belingon put in the best performance of his career to destroy Andrew Leone in Manila on Friday. The Filipino brought the fans to their feet at the sold out MOA Arena with a display of raw aggression in the ONE: Honor of Heroes main event. Right from the bell, Belingon rushed at Leone and swarmed the American with punches. The wushu specialist then scored a surprise takedown, putting the wrestler on his back, and attacking with punches and elbows from half guard. Belingon subsequently landed some solid knees to the head of Leone from side control as blood began to flow freely from the American's face. When the Team Lakay fighter stood up and started throwing kicks to the legs of his grounded opponent, referee Olivier Coste sensibly paused the action. The doctor took a long time tending to Leone's cuts, but the fight eventually resumed with both men standing. The American attempted a takedown, but once again found himself underneath Belingon with the hometown hero landing more punches from top position. Leone would have been relieved to hear the bell and there was a brief feeling out process at the start of the second. It proved to be the lull before the storm, as a spinning back kick from Belingon sent the Bali MMA fighter flying across the ring. Leone landed in a heap in the corner and Belingon swarmed again, landing a series of knees from side control that gave the referee no option but to step in and stop the fight. The finish came at the 1:27 mark and should secure the Filipino a rematch with ONE bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes. Belingon improves to 18-5 and has now won five straight fights since being submitted by Fernandes in 2016, although few of those victories were quite as emphatic as this one. Leone drops to 8-4 after suffering back-to-back defeats for the first time in his MMA career. ONE: Honor of Heroes Undercard All the action took place in a ring and the card featured three kickboxing or Muay Thai bouts. In the co-main event Giorgio Petrosyan showed why he is rated as one of the best stand-up fighters of all time with a comfortable decision win over Jo Nattawut.
World Champion Giorgio Petrosyan stepped into the ONE ring and put on a striking clinic befitting his legendary status, scoring a dominant unanimous decision victory. #HeroesOfHonor #Manila #MartialArts pic.twitter.com/laJ91JOnI1 — ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) April 20, 2018
Nong-O Gaiyanghadao didn't have things quite as easy against Fabio Pinca. The fight was close and competitive throughout with both men showing the skillset that has won them titles at Bangkok's biggest stadiums, but in the end, the Thai prevailed by way of decision.
What an awe-inspiring display of Muay Thai put on by World Champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao, kicking his way to a unanimous decision win! #HeroesOfHonor #Manila #MartialArts pic.twitter.com/cLBxAJVdgL — ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) April 20, 2018
Honorio Banario (13-6) can consider himself the luckiest man in the MOA Arena. He spent the entire second and third rounds backtracking from the much more aggressive Adrian Pang (22-13-2) yet somehow emerged with a split-decision victory.
Honorio “The Rock” Banario stuck to his game plan and sealed a close split decision win against grizzled veteran Adrian “The Hunter” Pang. #HeroesOfHonor #Manila #MartialArts pic.twitter.com/ETdPJ4lmlu — ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) April 20, 2018
Former featherweight champion Marat Gafurov (16-1) seemed to be carrying a leg injury going into his contest with Emilio Urrutia (11-5). The American was unable to capitalize on this potential weakness as he was swiftly taken down and submitted with an arm triangle choke.
Marat “Cobra” Gafurov submits “The Honey Badger” with a scintillating arm-triangle choke at 2:34 of the first round! #HeroesOfHonor #Manila #MartialArts pic.twitter.com/sP74vlXOKi — ONE Championship (@O…