Kevin Belingon is a former ONE Championship bantamweight world champion and now he’s just been promoted to blue belt in BJJ as well. It might seem pretty unusual that Belingon was able to win a title in a major MMA promotion as a white belt, but he’s always been much more of a striker during his career. He started out his martial arts career as a Sanda practitioner originally and became a national Wushu champion in the Phillipines. That eventually led to his introduction to MMA and the decision to make his professional debut all the way back in 2007.
Belingon actually won a regional MMA title in his very first fight, and he quickly racked up a perfect 9-0 professional record fighting all around Asia. That led to him signing for ONE Championship in 2012, where he was given an incredibly tough matchup against Masakazu Imanari in his promotional debut. Belingon went 4-4 in the ONE Championship cage initially and challenged Bibiano Fernandes for the bantamweight title, although he was unsuccessful and dropped to 13-5 in his professional MMA career.
That was when Belingon went through a career resurgence and won 5 straight fights in impressive fashion to earn another shot at an interim title against Martin Nguyen. His next fight was a rematch with Fernandes for the unified bantamweight world title, where he won a close decision and reached the highest point of his MMA career to date. Although Belingon lost the trilogy fight with Fernandes by DQ and the fourth and final fight by submission, he is still a fan-favorite at ONE Championship regardless.
At the time that Kevin Belingon has been promoted to blue belt in BJJ, he’s been training and competing in MMA for sixteen years and holds a respectable 20-10 professional record in the sport. While half of his wins have come by way of knockout, Belingon does actually have a pair of submission wins to his name as well. Both of them came during his time on the regional circuit but if he’s been working hard on grappling recently then it’ll be interesting to see what he does the next time he steps into the cage.
Kevin Belingon announced the news that he had been promoted to blue belt in BJJ in a recent post to his official Instagram account: