From the Philippines’ Ifugao province of Kiangan, Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon brought an edge of fear and dread to the Bantamweight division with his ferocious striking prowess, proving that silence is definitely golden.
Born on October 30th, 1987, Belingon (now 34) grew up with his hero, Bruce Lee, as the motivation behind his drive to take up martial arts. Under the teachings of renowned Filipino coach, Mark Sangiao, Belingon was taught the ways of Wushu at the University of the Cordilleras.
In 2007, Belingon finally made the jump to MMA, building up his résumé for the next four years with an impressive 9-0 winning streak, with four knockouts, even winning the URCC (Universal Reality Combat Championship) Flyweight title in his first pro fight. It would only be a matter of time until ONE Championship gave him the call in 2012.
Although things got off to a rocky start, Belingon began to pick up steam in the latter part of 2012. Showcasing power, speed, and precision, “The Silencer” garnered a reputation as one of the most feared strikers in the promotion.
His rivalry with Brazilian champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes has produced some of the most enthralling and, at times, controversial back and forth rivalries in ONE Championship history.
It was through his second war with “The Flash” that he finally earned the Bantamweight Championship.
Although he’s stumbled over the last three years, he’s not out of fuel, so hopefully we’ll see him resume his fighting ways on his return.
Now, with his backstory covered, let’s see how he silenced the critics as we count down Kevin Belingon’s Top 5 MMA Finishes! (in descending order)
5. Vs. Thanh Vu – ONE FC 8: Kings and Champions (April 5, 2013)
Upon impressing the ONE Championship crowd with his total onslaught of Yusup Saadulaev, “The Silencer” aimed to showcase more of his striking arsenal against the twenty year-old, Thanh “Aladdin” Vu.
Belingon made his supremacy known with stiff leg kicks, and changing up the formula, throwing in kicks from all directions.
“The Silencer” didn’t just take the lead in the stand-up, but implemented his grappling prowess by taking the young Vietnamese fighter down, keeping Thanh down in half-guard position for almost the remainder of round 1.
The punishment would only continue in round 2 with more head kicks, and as soon as Thanh was backed against the cage, “The Silencer” unleashed an endless barrage of blows that rocked “Aladdin”.
This forced the referee to jump in, ending the contest at 1:00 of round 2 to declare Belingon the winner via TKO.
After suffering Belingon’s wrath, “Aladdin” would probably want to use a wish-granting genie to explain exactly what just happened to him…
4. Vs. Toni Tauru – ONE: Kings of Dynasty (April 21, 2017)
Despite coming up short in his pursuit of ONE Championship gold in his first outing with Bibiano Fernandes, Belingon bounced back with a unanimous decision win over Muin Gafurov in October.
Sixth months later, “The Silencer’s” first fight in 2017 would be against Toni “Dynamite” Tauru, a thirty two year-old coming by way of Finland in his second bout at ONE Championship.
Tauru’s 5’10” (1.78m) height advantage seemed to prove hazardous as he not only pressured Belingon to fall back, but caused him to reconsider his next move.
Belingon may have had power in his kicks, but Tauru had ‘Dynamite’ kicks of his own, throwing a spinning back kick, providing Belingon with a fair warning not to get any ideas.
Regardless, Belingon shot for a back kick of his own, but was intercepted by the Finnish athlete who followed up with a takedown.
Once returned to his feet, “The Silencer” decided to throw caution to the wind, and began throwing some serious shots, busting up Tauru’s nose, and once he was on the ground, Belingon dropped a few more bombshells before the referee stepped in at 2:27, ending the contest in round 1.
With a TKO victory, Belingon made a MASSIVE statement that he wouldn’t be stepping into the cage just to come up short.
3. David Aranda – ONE FC 13: Moment of Truth (Dec. 6, 2013)
After coming off a unanimous decision loss to Masakatsu Ueda in May, Belingon returned to action in December that same year against thirty seven year-old Spanish athlete, David Aranda Santacana, who was taking his first steps into the promotion with a perfect 9-0 record.
Despite several attempts to engage, Aranda was given a good taste of Belingon’s leg strike medicine, feeling the force of his creative, and explosive kicks.
After landing another solid leg kick, Belingon pressured Aranda back toward the cage by throwing wild rights and lefts, before holstering him into the clinch where he continued to punish his quarry with an array of right hands and uppercuts.
The fight culminated in two hardening left hooks that put Aranda out cold before his face hit the canvas. The fight was over at 2:53 of round 1 and Belingon was awarded the KO victory in his sixth fight for ONE Championship.
“The Silencer’s” striking pedigree may have been too great for Aranda, as he not only silenced his undefeated streak, but also his entire career.
2. Vs. Reece McLaren – ONE: Quest for Greatness (Aug. 18, 2017)
Four months after an impressive TKO victory over Toni Tauru, “The Silencer” took on twenty five year-old Reece “Lightning” McLaren in a bid to test if the Australian native could live up to his nickname.
In the first thirty seconds of round 1, McLaren tried to find an opening with a cautious approach, knowing full well the threat of Belingon’s speed.
“The Silencer” threw a wild, spinning back kick, but that didn’t seem to obstruct McLaren as he continued his quest to gain reach.
When McLaren seemed to have found his reach with an attempted left hook, however, the young Australian suffered the Icarus-like effect of the heat of Belingon’s thunderous right-hand counter, causing him to collapse to the ground.
It didn’t take long for the “The Silencer” to seal the deal with an utter onslaught of ground and pound, with the referee stepping in to stop the fight at just 1:02 into round 1.
1. Vs. Andrew Leone – ONE: Heroes of Honor (April 20, 2018)
In over a year, Belingon built up four straight wins and aimed to extend his record with a knockout over the twenty eight year-old American, Andrew Leone.
Leone was coming off a submission loss to Bibiano Fernandes and a win over the fierce Bantamweight striker here would make for a substantial career boost.
Wasting no time, “The Silencer” made his awesome power known, coming in for the kill.
Leone sought to save himself with attempted takedowns, but Belingon’s wrestling defences would stop his hopes in their tracks.
Leone thought to try out his own fancy arsenal of spinning moves, but Belingon would shut him down with his own takedown.
The action would be paused temporarily after Leone’s forehead was busted by Belingon’s relentless knees and elbows from a half-guard position.
The fight resumed with Belingon taking a more cautious approach, yet still being able to score another takedown before the end of round 1.
At a minute into round 2, it seemed to be a quiet affair, yet Belingon broke the ice with a surprise spinning back kick, shooting Leone to the canvas and bringing the curtain down with thrusted knees to the face.
The fight was over at 1:27 of round 2, with “The Silencer” given the TKO win with a dominant performance that demonstrated sheer control, aggression and precision.