They will face each other for the fourth time next Sunday, 13 October, and it should be another closely-contested, exciting encounter – especially since both men are keen to put a stamp on the greatest struggle in ONE Championship history.
However, with so much shared time in the Circle already, they will know each other inside-out. Fernandes and Belingon have focused solely on each other for more than a year, dating back to their training camps for ONE: HEART OF THE LION.
There will be little either athlete can do that their opponent has not planned for, but their compelling clash of styles means they should have plenty of weapons to put their rival in danger.
These are some of the key factors that can take them to victory at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.
#1 Go Low
It is the flashy spinning back kick that draws the most gasps from the crowds, but in terms of efficacy, Belingon’s thudding leg kicks could have the biggest impact at ONE: CENTURY.
Towards the end of their second bout and in the early running of their third, “The Silencer” smashed his shin cleanly into Fernandes’ thigh to great effect.
They disrupted the Brazilian’s balance when he tried to load up on his punches, and halted some of his explosiveness when he tried to close the distance for takedowns.
If the Team Lakay man can use his low kicks early and often, it will pay off in the later rounds.
#2 Potent Punch
Nothing has caused “The Silencer” more trouble in the striking exchanges than Fernandes’ powerful right hand.
The BJJ World Champion may be best known for his grappling, but he has spent years honing his stand-up tools, and that has shown in his recent bouts against the Filipino national wushu champion.
His cross landed clean on multiple occasions when paired with his jab, and a looping overhand right staggered the Team Lakay representative badly in their last match – and almost led to a finish.
“The Flash” can use his versatile power-punch in a myriad of ways, including as a counter to the spinning back kick or a takedown set-up, and Belingon knows he cannot afford to sleep on it.
#3 Athletic Escapes
Fernandes’ key advantage against Belingon is on the ground, but the Filipino’s explosiveness can get him out of trouble.
The muscled 31-year-old uses his stocky frame to burst out of bad positions, even in situations where an escape seems unlikely.
This is not by chance. The Team Lakay athletes have focused heavily on working back to a standing position so they can strike, and “The Silencer’s” scrambling ability is vastly improved from his first encounter with Fernandes in 2016 when he lost to a first-round submission.
The former World Champion is always looking to create space with frames and hip bridges when he is underneath an opponent, and he can escape given the narrowest of windows – even when he looks seconds from tapping as he did in the rematch.
#4 Position Before Submission
“The Flash’s” BJJ experience will give him a clear advantage over Belingon in the submission stakes. However, his positional dominance will be a major factor in any success on the mat.
When Fernandes advanced to attacking positions like the mount or back control, “The Silencer” often fount a gap to escape, so a better approach might be to stay tight and conservative until he is certain that his next attack will be a success.
Belingon is not easy to subdue, but in their first encounter, the Brazilian kept him locked down in side control until he secured a kimura, and then the tap.
Though Belingon was savvier with his defense when they met for the second time, he struggled to find a way back to his feet when his rival used leg rides after his takedowns instead of immediately looking to advance. That could be the first step toward setting up another finish for the defending World Champion.
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- Watch PART I in USA on 12 October at 8pm EST and PART II on 13 October at 4am EST
- Watch PART I in India on 13 October at 5:30am IST and PART II at 1:30pm IST
- Watch PART I in Indonesia on 13 October at 7am WIB and PART II at 3pm WIB
- Watch PART I in Singapore on 13 October at 8am SGT and PART II at 4pm SGT
- Watch PART I in the Philippines on 13 October at 8am PHT and PART II at 4pm PHT
- Watch PART I in Japan on 13 October at 9am JST and PART II at 5pm JST
ONE: CENTURY is the biggest World Championship martial arts event in history with 28 World Champions featured across various martial arts. No organization has ever promoted two full-scale World Championship events on the same day.
The Home Of Martial Arts will break new ground as it brings multiple World Title bouts, a trio of World Grand Prix Championship Finals, and several World Champion versus World Champion matches to the famous Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on 13 October.