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Going One On One With Kevin 'The Silencer' Belingon

Get to know the Team Lakay striker with a killer spinning back kick
by FHM Staff | Jun 10, 2018
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On an overcast Wednesday afternoon, we sat down with Baguio native and elite striker Kevin Belingon of Team Lakay, who has just come off a recent dramatic victory over Andrew Leone via spinning back kick and punches at One Championship: Heroes of Honor. Extremely polite and totally unassuming, you would never guess that Belingon was a world-class MMA competitor by his demeanor. Standing at 5'5", he would look like any average joe if it were not for his physique which reflects the rigorous training regimen Team Lakay is known for. At only 30 years old, "The Silencer" is already a veteran of the sport with an impressive 9-2 record. In our chat, he gamely shared with us where he got his moniker, how he got started in the Martial Arts, and his plans for the future.

Where did you get the nickname “The Silencer”?

Well, nakuha ko yung pangalan na yun after nung first MMA fight ko. Yun yung binigay sa akin kasi parang natahimik yung mga tao kasi champion yung kinalaban ko tapos tinalo ko. Pati yung champion na nakalaban ko natahimik. Tapos yung attitude ko na din, silent kasi ako e.

When and how did you get started in Martial Arts?

Sa probinsya namin may sarili kaming Martial Arts, yung traditional na wrestling namin, yun tinatawag naming Boltong. Dun nagsimula yung Martial Arts sa akin nung bata ako. Tapos talagang [seryosong] Martial Arts nung nag college na ako, pero 2005 ako pumasok sa Martial Art sa Wushu. Doon nag-compete ako ng amateur sa Wushu, then 2007 dun ako nagsimula ng Mixed Martial Arts.

Was there a big difference between training for Wushu and for MMA?

Yung sa Wushu medyo light yung training dun. Pero nung nag transition na ako sa Mixed Martial Arts, hindi naman ako nahirapan. Parang may dagdag lang sa Wushu.

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Describe your typical day when preparing for a match.

Kung may binigay na schedule, siyempre yan simula ulit yung training—stick to the basics. Tapos pinaplano na yung gameplan kasi depe-depende sa kalaban mo e. Pinapanood namin yung mga fight videos ng mga makakalaban namin para at least may idea kami kung ano yung weakness niya. Pagkatapos naman ng laban, recovery tapos back to light training.

How long do you typically prepare for a match?

Depende kasi minsan less than a month nila sinasabi or exacto two months. So kelangan talaga may light training para kapag binigla ka at least naka simula ka na ng training mo. Kasi kung minsan medyo kulang yung day, talagang kakapusin ka.

What other Martial Arts do you cross train in?

Jiu-jitsu tsaka Wrestling. Minsan bumababa kami dito sa Manila para maki cross train sa Jiu-jitsu.

What motivates you to train every day? Who pushes you the hardest?

Para sa akin yung goal ko na maging champion sa division namin. Yun yung nag mo-motivate sa akin araw araw. Tapos siyempre, yung pamilya. Si Coach Mark [Sangiao] ang laging nag pu-push sa amin. Siya nagsasabing ‘Kelangan ganito ang aralin natin.’ Si coach talaga lahat. Nag sha-share din kami ng ideas sa isa’t- isa tapos i-a-assess namin.

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Do you give importance to mental preparation in training?

Siyempre. Pero talagang mahirap yung mental training. Yan yung mahirap ituro. Puwede mo ituro yung technique sa punching and kicking pero yung puso hindi mo mapipilit. I-motivate mo lang siya pero kung anong gawin niya, nasa kanya kung paano niya ite-take yung situation na yun.

In your last match, did you know that the match was over when your kick connected?

Oo kasi nung binigay ko yung back kick na yun, dinig ko pa na nag [groaning sound]. Kaya sabi ko ‘eto na to.’ Kaya nung natumba siya, sinugod ko kaagad para siguraduhin.

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Do you prefer competing at home or abroad? Is there more pressure competing in front of the home crowd?

Siyempre merong pressure [competing at home] pero sa akin focus lang ako sa game plan. Tapos siyempre nakaka-proud kapag dito ka lumalaban tapos rine-represent mo yung bandila ng Pilipinas. Siyempre kung dito sa Pilipinas gaganapin yung event, mas pabor sayo kasi lahat ng crowd nasa iyo.

Are you still aware of the crowd’s reactions when you are competing?

Siyempre naman yung cheer nila. Dun pa rin naman yung focus mo sa laban pero aware ka din sa paligid mo.

What is next for “The Silencer”?

Inaasahan ko yung title shot. Wala pang update pero yun ang paghahandaan ko. Pagkatapos nung huli kong laban sinabi na sa akin na title shot na yung susunod pero wala pang date.

What suggestions do you have for current and future Martial Artists who would like to follow in your footsteps?

Sa mga gustong maging atleta din o Martial Artist, kelangan dito disiplina at dedication. Dapat na always may confidence sila sa sarili nila at skills nila.

It has just been announced that “The Silencer” has earned his title shot against One Championship Bantamweight king Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes on July 27. Until then, his full support is behind his teammates Edward Kelly and current One Championship Interim Flyweight champion Geje Eustaquio who will see action on June 23 at the One Championship: Pinnacle of Power event in Macau.  

 

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