With the featherweight and lightweight championship belts already on his waist, it looks like Martin Nguyen will get another opportunity at adding the bantamweight title when he faces Kevin Belingon at One Championship: Reign of Kings.
The bout will be for the One interim bantamweight title with current champion Bibiano Fernandes sidelined until later this year due to an injury.
Training out of Sydney, Nguyen became the first One Championship fighter to simultaneously hold two championship belts in various weight divisions. The 29-year-old attempted to make three world title belts but was edged out in a split points decision against Fernandes. Nguyen rebounded to defend his featherweight title by defeating Christian Lee just last month to take his career record to 11-2.
“Bibiano should watch this fight with a close eye. He knows who the rightful challenger is. It’s either me or Kevin, and I will be doing everything in my power to finish this one. This is a fan-friendly match-up between two aggressive, young beasts, and I can’t wait to lock horns with Kevin. There will be fireworks,” Nguyen stated in the press release.
Fighting of Team Lakak, Belingon (18-5) is riding a five fight win streak which includes a victory over Australian Reece McLaren back in August. The 30-year-old last lost back in January 2016 where he unsuccessfully challenged Bibiano Fernandes for the title.
“As one of the top bantamweights in One Championship, I am willing to take on all comers. It doesn’t matter to me who is the opponent,” Belingong was quoted as saying the press-release
“In fact, I am honored to face Martin Nguyen, a two-division world champion. If I can beat Martin, it would be huge. This is a great position I am in, and I am excited for this bout. It will be action-packed, for sure.”
Also announced for the event Shannon Wiratchai will meet former lightweight champion Shinya Aoki while Renzo Gracie will make one last appearance as he faces Japanese veteran Yuki Kondo.
The event will take place at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, 27 July.