Five Filipino warriors are penciled in to fight during ONE Championship’s return to the iconic Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday, August 18.
“It is always an exciting time in Kuala Lumpur whenever our world-class athletes climb atop Asia’s biggest and grandest martial arts stage,” said ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong. “Our warriors are eager to put on a show for fans in Kuala Lumpur, and it is our honor to have them perform in this marvelous city.”
One of the headliners in the stacked card is a bantamweight bout pitting Baguio-native Kevin Belingon and Filipino-Australian Reece McLaren.
Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon (15-5) of the famed Team Lakay in Baguio City, Philippines, is one of the country’s most talented martial artists. Belingon is known as a fierce competitor with the ability to finish opponents using a variety of methods. The 29-year-old wushu stalwart owns six big knockouts on his resume, and is one of the most feared strikers in the bantamweight division. In his last bout, Belingon stopped Finnish grappling sensation Toni “Dynamite” Tauru with a volley of devastating strikes.
He now takes on another tough task in Reece McLaren.
25-year-old Reece “Lightning” McLaren (9-4) is a Filipino-Australian professional martial artist from Toowoomba, Australia. He made his ONE Championship debut in 2015 with a spectacular submission victory over top bantamweight contender Mark Striegl, and then followed up that win with a unanimous decision over highly-regarded prospect Muin Gafurov.
In his last bout, McLaren challenged Bibiano Fernandes for the ONE Bantamweight World Championship, falling just short of victory by way of split decision.
Joining Belingon is stablemate Edward Kelly.
Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly (9-3) is a 33-year-old Filipino martial arts talent and one of the brightest featherweight prospects to emerge from the Philippines.
A professional martial artist with a complete striking and grappling skill set, Kelly brings Team Lakay’s world-renowned wushu to centerstage as he looks to showcase his expertise inside the ONE Championship cage. Kelly has won his last three outings by spectacular finish. In his last bout, Kelly scored a third-round technical knockout of veteran competitor Sunoto of Indonesia.
Kelly seeks to continue his amazing run, this time against Emilio Urrutia.
Emilio “The Honey Badger” Urrutia (9-4) is an American martial artist from Miami, Florida. The 30-year-old made his professional debut in 2013.. A skilled grappler, four of Urrutia’s nine total victories have come by submission. Training out of the renowned Tiger Muay Thai gym in Thailand and Juggernaut Fight Club in Singapore, Urrutia is set to make his ONE Championship debut as a featherweight.
Completing the Filipino contingent for the card are the Catalan brothers, Robin and Rene.
26-year-old Robin Catalan of Iloilo City, Philippines, is a member of the Catalan fighting family and a professional martial artist competing in the ONE Championship strawweight division. He currently owns a record of six wins and two losses, which includes two wins by submission and two by knockout. In his last bout, Catalan went head-to-head with fellow Filipino warrior Jeremy Miado to nab the win via split decision.
Now, Catalan is set to face former ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke of Thailand.
On the other hand, 38-year-old Rene “The Challenger” Catalan of Manila, Philippines, is a 2006 Asian Games gold medalist in wushu. He made his ONE Championship debut in 2013 against Brazil’s Alex Silva, and has since amassed a 2-2, 1 No Contest professional record. In September of 2016, Catalan notched his first victory in the promotion with a unanimous decision over Zhang You Liang. In his most recent bout, Catalan submitted Adrian Matheis by armbar in the second round.
Now Catalan is looking for his third straight victory, this time against Bu Huo You Ga.