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Kevin Belingon leaves Team Lakay too

Kevin Belingon bids goodbye too to Team Lakay. Nikki Collantes
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Eduard Folayang is not the only veteran leaving Team Lakay.

In another sudden announcement, Kevin Belingon revealed on Saturday that he too has parted ways with the renowned mixed martial arts team from La Trinidad.

"'Even beautiful things have endings, but it does not mean that beautiful beginnings are not coming!'... I would like to make a public statement that I'm no longer with Team Lakay," Belingon said.

He then quickly debunked possible speculations that he had a spat with Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao, even saying that they had a "farewell talk" that ended without any bad blood.

"I had a farewell talk with Mark Sangiao, and we ended on a good note. Coach, thank you for everything and for understanding my need for growth. With whole sincerity, I wish you all the best in life," Belingon continued.

Belingon is one of Team Lakay's pillars as he has been with the stable since Sangiao founded it in 2006.

"Leaving the team makes me emotional because it has been my home for the last 16 years. But at the same time, I look forward to what lies ahead. A fresh start," Belingon added.

Like Folayang, Belingon's decision to leave Team Lakay stems from his desire to improve further as an MMA fighter.

"My decision to leave the team comes only from my own personal desire to cultivate my skills," Belingon added.

Belingon has lost his last five fights at ONE Championship, starting with back-to-back defeats against Bibiano Fernandes for the ONE bantamweight title.

However, Belingon shockingly lost to South Koreans Kwon Won-Il and Kim Jae-Woong both by technical knockouts in his last two outings.

While there has not really been much talk about it among fans, the 35-year-old Belingon insisted that retirement is not his plan just yet.

"I'm still an active ONE Championship athlete," said the former bantamweight champ back when the weight limit was still at 135 pounds as aligned with other major MMA promotions, somehow hinting that he will join a new team.

He then hopes that his fans will continue to support him in his "new adventures."

"It is my earnest prayer that you my colleagues, friends, and followers will understand and respect my decision. Thank you for always being there in the highs and lows. I hope you will still be with me as we set sail to new adventures. I am blessed to have all of you," Belingon further stated. "Memories are memories. Friendships are friendships. And life goes on."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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