KEVIN Belingon's reign as ONE Bantamweight Championship ended on a dud after being disqualified in the third round in his trilogy against Bibiano Fernandes Sunday at ONE: A New Era at Ryoguku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.
The Team Lakay fighter was slapped with a red card after elbowing the Brazilian challenger twice to the back of the head midway through round three.
It was a disappointing end to the trilogy between the top two fighters in the promotion's bantamweight division, much to the dismay of the Tokyo crowd.
Belingon started like a house on fire as he went on a barrage after the opening bell and connected on a spinning right kick. Fernandes, though, rocked the champion with a right hook before pinning him and taking the fight to the ground before the round's end.
The Igorot warrior was more deliberate in the second round, hitting with his own right hook and another spinning right kick before the Brazilian grappler took him once again to the mat as he was the clear-cut aggressor in the fight.
But Belingon's wayward elbows halted the action as Fernandes refused to get back up, leading to the referee bringing out the red card.
The loss not only dropped Belingon to a 20-6 win-loss record, but continued Team Lakay's fall from grace in 2019 as he became the third champion to lose his title after Joshua Pacio and Geje Eustaquio.
Meanwhile, Fernandes reclaimed the belt he lost last November and became a two-time bantamweight champion as he improved to 23-4.