High Fives: The End of a Reign, Two Submissions and a Pair of TKOs

By Guy Portman Nov 12, 2018
UFC Fight Night 139 on Saturday in Denver may have sucked up a majority of the publicity, but it was not the only significant mixed martial arts event during the weekend of Nov. 9-11. A new bantamweight king was crowned at One Championship “Heart of the Lion” on Friday in Kallang, Singapore, while Legacy Fighting Alliance 53 resulted in another impressive submission at the Comerica Theatre in Phoenix.

DETHRONED … Headlining the One Championship event was a bantamweight title bout between longtime Brazilian champion Bibiano Fernandes and Filipino challenger Kevin Belingon. Throughout the thrilling five-round affair, Belingon targeted his 38-year-old adversary’s body with punches and spinning kicks. In the second frame, Fernandes took Belingon’s back on the mat and looked for a rear-naked choke. He then transitioned to an armbar, but the Filipino defended successfully and returned to his feet. Belingon finished the round with a barrage of ground-and-pound from guard. In the fourth, the challenger dropped Fernandes with a straight right. After 25 action-packed minutes, Belingon was declared the winner by split decision. In ending the Brazilian’s five-year reign as the promotion’s bantamweight champion, Belingon upped his record to 20-5. Fernandes slipped to 22-4.

YOUTHFUL DOMINANCE … Elsewhere under the One Championship banner, Singapore’s Christian Lee met Japan’s Kazuki Tokudome in catchweight affair. Lee took the fight on less than a week’s notice, but he dominated proceedings from the start. With a little over two minutes remaining in the first round, the 20-year-old found himself in top-position half guard, rained reverse elbows before moving to mount and then took his opponent’s back. A kneeling Tokudome offered no defense to the Singaporean’s heavy right hands, leaving the referee with no choice but to wave off the contest 3:07 into Round One. With the emphatic TKO, Lee improved to 10-3. Tokudome fell to 18-10-1.

‘THE HUNTER’ STRIKES … One Championship “Heart of the Lion” also featured a lightweight duel between Papua New Guinea’s Adrian Pang and Japan’s Kota Shimoishi. In the first stanza, the Japanese combatant attempted a heel hook and shortly thereafter a kimura. However, it was Pang who ended the round in stronger fashion, landing brutal punches from top position in half guard. Shimoishi, who had taken substantial damage, failed to get off his stool for the commencement of the second round, and Pang was declared the victor by TKO. The win saw “The Hunter” move to 23-12-2. In defeat, Shimoishi dipped to 21-7.

SUBMISSION SPECIALIST … In other One Championship action, American Brazilian jiu-jitsu superstar Garry Tonon squared off with South Korean Sung Jong Lee at 155 pounds. A little over a minute and a half into the second stanza, Tonon successfully completed a double-leg takedown. From there, he planted his feet on the ground, grabbed his counterpart’s neck, turned to his back and set up a guillotine choke. The Korean kept rolling in an effort to free himself, but the grappling wizard tightened the submission and finally elicited the tap from top position at the 2:04 mark of Round 2. In victory, Tonon rose to 3-0. Lee dropped to 2-3.

TRIANGULATED ATTACKKamuela Kirk and Kevin Croom clashed in a featherweight feature at LFA 53. Having hip tossed Croom to the mat against the cage in the first round, Kirk came close to finishing with a rear-naked choke; Croom defended. The end came when Kirk, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, secured a triangle choke from the bottom and forced Croom to tap 3:54 into Round 1. With the submission win, Kirk’s record now stands at 8-2. In defeat, “The Hard-Hitting Hillbilly” slid to 18-11.
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