Martial artists possess many virtues that are valuable for competition and life, but for Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, nothing is more important than patience.
That quality has helped him to his greatest success in the Circle, and it has kept him on the right track during his training camp for ONE: CENTURY PART II this Sunday, 13 October, when he will face Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes in an unprecedented fourth ONE Bantamweight World Title match.
In Tokyo, Japan, the Team Lakay veteran hopes to improve on the result he achieved in their rematch last November, when he claimed a split-decision win over the Brazilian to become the undisputed World Champion.
Though the bout was contested at a breakneck pace, the Filipino hero credits his success to the composure and perseverance he was able to show during the chaos.
“In our match against Bibiano last year, [patience] was one of the keys to my victory against him,” the 31-year-old says.
“I took my time to wait for the right opportunity to connect with my best shots and put him in difficult situations.”
Belingon and Fernandes shared one win apiece after that battle, so a rubber match was inevitable. In March at ONE: A NEW ERA, the two athletes and their fans got their wish, but it came to a disappointing end when an illegal elbow in the third round caused “The Silencer” to be disqualified.
Both athletes and their supporters were left hungry for a fitting conclusion to this epic rivalry, and though another chapter was announced that night by ONE CEO and Chairman Chatri Sityodtong, they had to wait months to discover when they would get the chance to go at it again.
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“The wait was the most challenging part, really,” Belingon reveals.
“We didn’t know if it would happen this year or the next. We just knew that it would come soon. However, even though we didn’t have a definite date, we continued training and stayed battle-ready.
“We didn’t demand for it to happen immediately, and instead stayed patient, because we believed that Sir Chatri would give us the rematch.”
The sanda specialist likened the wait for the rematch to dealing with Baguio City’s congested rush-hour traffic when he is urgently trying to get somewhere.
Just like in that situation, he had to keep cool and carry on.
“Even in the simple case of road traffic, you can’t do anything about it, even if you get stressed,” he adds
“Stay calm, be patient. It will pass, and you will soon reach your destination. There’s no need to spend unnecessary energy in getting angry or stressed with things you cannot control.”
On 13 October, the man from Ifugao will finally reach that destination at the famous Ryogoku Kokugikan, and by continuously working for the past six months, he will be better prepared than ever.
And while he has honed his skills and strategy for his fourth foray against “The Flash,” Belingon believes his biggest weapon is not something he developed in the gym.
“Patience is innate. You can’t train it to make it better, you must have it in you,” he says.
That quality has taken the 31-year-old to the top once before. At ONE: CENTURY, he expects it will once again help him to stay clear of danger, find the perfect opportunity to strike, and end The Home Of Martial Arts’ greatest series, once and for all.
“It’s an important virtue to have if you want to execute your game plan properly,” he adds.
“All the hard work in training will be for nothing if you’re too focused on finishing the match if the opportunity is not there. I think learning to be patient helps improve my focus in the match.
“I believe that without patience, no one will achieve their goals.”
Tokyo | CENTURY | ONE Championship’s 100th Live Event | Tickets: Purchase here
- 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.