Former ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin "The Silencer" Belingon (20-9) will be fighting with his back against the wall on Friday, November 18.
At ONE on Prime Video 4, the Filipino superstar will look to end the longest losing streak of his MMA career when he takes on dangerous South Korean athlete Kim Jae Woong (12-6), who is moving down from featherweight.
Never one to mince words, Belingon knows he needs a win here – not only to snap his string of tough defeats, but also to work his way back toward the belt he once owned.
The former bantamweight king said:
"This is such an important fight for me, especially since it's been a while since I won. I'm a desperate man and I'm desperate for a win here. I want to break the curse, end that consecutive losing streak and start a streak of my own."
Despite the stiff competition, "The Silencer" isn't used to losing. He won seven straight bouts before this difficult stretch, and he believes the setbacks stemmed from self-doubt – any fighter's worst enemy.
However, the 35-year-old says he's now turned things around and will be in the perfect mindstate heading into his showdown with Kim:
"I think looking back at my losses, my confidence was an issue," he said. "I feel like I'm more confident and decisive entering this fight, that's one thing that I'm looking at in this match. Even though I'll be facing a bigger opponent this time, my confidence is solid.
"Building confidence comes with preparation. I feel like I lacked preparation over my past fights. Now, I feel like I have sufficient time to prepare for this fight."
Belingon sees striking advantage over Kim
When Belingon steps into the ONE circle on November 18, he'll be facing an extremely skilled opponent who was, until recently, the No. 2-ranked featherweight contender.
The Team Lakay representative has loads of respect for Kim, and he knows the South Korean's crafty yet powerful boxing could give him problems.
"Kim's striking is definitely his strength. His boxing is one of the things that is noteworthy, he's really strong. We've seen his previous fights, his punches have weight and can seriously hurt people.
"I really have to watch out for his hands. He has legitimate power, and I can't relax."
But by that same token, Belingon trusts his own standup game.
His dynamic, wushu-based attack has earned him six knockout wins against world-class opponents inside the ONE circle.
And considering his opponent's drop in weight, the former world xhampion thinks he'll hold an edge in cardio and endurance.
"My advantage would also be my striking. I feel like my striking arsenal is more complete than his, just because of the fact that I can use my kicks effectively. This will also be his first time moving down to bantamweight, so I expect him to struggle for a bit and I think that will be a big advantage for me."
"The Silencer" isn't naming one particular way he hopes to win this fight.
Instead, he plans to be an opportunist, taking the win however it may come as he aims to reassert himself as one of the best bantamweight MMA fighters on the planet.
"Expect fireworks from this match. I know Kim Jae Woong isn't a pushover, so expect me to do everything to win and get back on track, whatever it takes. If an opportunity to knock him out presents itself, I'll take it. If an opportunity to submit him presents itself, I'll take it. Anything that can make me get back to the winning track, I'll take it."
This story first published at ONEFC.com.