KEVIN Belingon took a big step toward another shot at the bantamweight title as he pulverized Andrew Leone in the main event of ONE: Heroes of Honor on Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The 30-year-old wushu national champion lined himself up for another shot at longtime division king Bibiano Fernandes as he outclassed his American opponent in every facet of the game, leading to a TKO victory at the 3:33 mark of the second round.
A thunderous spinning back kick set Leone flying across the ring. Belingon then pummeled his outclassed foe who had no other choice but to turtle up.
Belingon lost to Fernandes in his first attempt at a title but with five straight impressive wins since then, it's fair to say that Belingon is a different fighter now.
"I feel great. I was just waiting for that opportunity. He's always been giving me that cause he steps back, but when I got that I just took it," said Beligon.
It was a beat down from the onset with Belingon dominating Leone on the feet and stuffing his every attempt at a takedown.
He also got Leone down multiple times and rained down some brutal ground and pound, mixing punches with knees and busting the Bali MMA standout wide open.
Leone fell to 8-4 with the loss.
In the co-main event of the evening, Giorgio Petrosyan (96-2) lived up to the hype as he dominated Jo Nattawut (66-7-2) in the top billing of the ONE Super Series.
Petrosyan proved levels above his Thai counterpart as he cruised to a comfortable unanimous decision win.
Honorio Banario, meanwhile, racked up his fifth straight victory after squeaking past Aussie Adrian Pang in a hotly contested fight.
"He is (Pang) the greatest fighter that I've faced. He's already 40 years old and still very strong," said Banario, who improved to 13-6 as Pang dropped to 22-12-2.
"He took this fight and made no excuses and trained hard for it. He really made it hard for me," he added.
In other bouts, former featherweight champion Marat Gafurov (16-1) returned to winning ways after submitting Emilio Urrutia (11-5).
Dae Hwan Kim (13-3-1) raised the Korean flag high after outpointing veteran Japanese submission artist Masakazu Imarmbari (36-18-2).
Filipino youngster Kaji Ebin (2-1) suffered a verbal submission loss at the hands of Akihiro Fujisawa (3-0) after suffering a dislocated shoulder.