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Belingon KO's McLaren in all-Filipino clash; Nguyen strikes One gold in KL with own KO of Gafurov

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Australia may not be a participating nation in the SEA Games.

But an Australian will depart Kuala Lumpur with a gold in the form of a One Championship belt.

While the other sports fans are focusing on the biennial meet, Martin Nguyen shocked the Stadium Negara there on Friday night when he knocked out Marat Gafurov to capture the One featherweight title in the main event of One: Quest for Greatness.

Nguyen found himself having to withstand Gafurov's ground game in the first round, but he delivered the deciding moment in the second round when he rocked him with an overhand right that sent him to the canvass for good a little under a minute and a half into the said round.

Nguyen avenged the only loss of his career so far to Gafurov by giving him his first MMA loss as well.

Meanwhile, Ev Ting bounced back from his loss to Eduard Folayang last April by downing Nobutatsu Suzuki in the co-main event.

Ting was too much for Suzuki in the striking side as the former delivered solid blows including a combination that set up the knockout. The end came at the 3:29 mark of the very first round.

On the other hand, Kevin Belingon blasted Reece McLaren in a rare MMA showdown between fighters of Filipino descent.

The Baguio-bred Belingon landed a right straight that knocked the Australian-raised McLaren down before delivering some more strikes that prompted referee Olivier Coste to step in and give Belingon the win. The all-Filipino showdown lasted just 62 seconds.

Rene Catalan also scored a win, beating Bu Huo Ga by unanimous decision for his third straight victory.

However, his younger brother Robin failed to duplicate the feat as Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke made it 2-0 against the Catalans with a knockout victory just 46 seconds into Round 2.

The only other Filipino in the card, Edward Kelly, also ended up at the losing side, bowing to American Emilio Urrutia by unanimous decision.

The Subba Brothers also split their respective assignments.

Gianni Subba made a dominating work of Riku Shibuya en route to a unanimous decision win, but younger brother Keanu fell prey to Christian Lee as the latter forced the former to submit via armbar at the 1:11 mark of Round 3.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno