Undefeated URCC flyweight champion, Kevin Belingon has been tearing up the Asian circuit recently, picking up three more impressive wins on top promotions like ESPN Martial Combat and Legend FC. The 23-year-old Wushu expert already has wins over Filipino MMA legend, Richard Lasprilla and current URCC bantamweight champion, Justin Cruz, but his next fight might be his toughest test to date.
The URCC has announced that the next guy to try and stop this young and promising prospect will be former KOTC Flyweight Champion (135 lbs), Ryan "The Lion" Diaz. He has signed a 3-fight deal with the URCC and hopes to start out by overthrowing the undefeated Team Lakay Wushu standout. The bout will be for a superfight title at 135 lbs. and will headline a stacked URCC XIX card this April. URCC Marketing Director, Bubbles Aguilar talked to BloodyElbow.com about the match up:
The URCC and its producers believe Kevin has what it takes to be known internationally. He has an undefeated record here and abroad and has evolved into a well rounded fighter. This fight could definitely be considered as Kevin's biggest fight because of Ryan Diaz's stature in MMA, having competed all over the world.
We are also happy to welcome Ryan as a new addition to URCC's roster of fighters and you will see more of him at the URCC for sure.
Diaz is a 31-year-old Filipino-American, whose 12-year MMA career has been with promotions like KOTC, MFC, Shooto, and Stikeforce. A former Muay Thai champion, Diaz has been an instructor at Arizona Combat Sports, and through out his career, has regularly moved above his natural weight class to challenge top guys such as UFC standouts, Nam Phan, Hermes Franca, and Mark Hominick.
There have been on going rumors about Belingon drawing a lot of interest from the WEC, and now the UFC bantamweight division, and what makes this an intriguing match up is that Diaz is the perfect litmus test to see how he can hang against talented and experienced opposition from North America.
After the jump, much more Filipino MMA news.
URCC XIX will be a very stacked card. Aside from the mentioned main event between Belingon and Diaz, the rest of the April 2nd card is looking pretty good with 3 more title bouts:
- Another champion coming out of the Team Lakay Wushu, Roy Docyogen (8-0), will be defending his URCC Pinweight Championship (119 lbs.) in a rematch against the very young and exciting Alvin Ramirez. Docyogen won a decision their first outing back in 2009 [video], but Ramirez, who started out with an impressive run at the amateurs, has been on a tear of late, gaining two quick victories over quality opponents [video].
- Talented Australian, Nicholas Mann, who has competed against the giants of the heavyweight division, will get a light heavyweight title shot against a man who has won 2 belts in 2 divisions, Caloy Baduria.
- Guam's Justin "The Shocker" Cruz hasn't defended his URCC bantamweight belt for more than a year as he is currently busy trying to become a fireman. The card will now feature an interim title bout between Hideo "Death from Tokyo" Morikawa and Jessie Rafols with the winner having to unify the belts against Cruz late this year.
- Other bouts confirmed for the card: Franz Altarejos vs. Red Romero, Bernard Soriano vs. Charles De Tomas, and Agustin "Demolisher" Delarmino vs. Jilmar "Stone Cold" Tangayan
Other Filipino MMA news:
- In a few hours, LegendFC 4 will begin in HongKong, and on the card will be another excellent battle of styles between Wushu and Muay Thai. Mark Eddiva has brought several medals and Wushu championships for the Philippines, solidifying himself as one of the very best Wushu practitioners in the world. He will be taking on the Hong Kong's Muay Thai champion, and 2010 World Kickboxing Championships bronze medalist, Alex Lee in a featherweight bout.
- On Feb 19th, Honorio "The Rock" Banario of Team Lakay will take on Razi "The Iranian" Jabbari in a bout with serious title implications. A victory from Banario would mean that he will most likely be matched in a lightweight title fight next against crowd favorite and current champion, Angelito "The Saint" Manguray, a Dentist who is also an undefeated Karate-based fighter that's already on his 40's.
- Former URCC flyweight champion, Richard Lasprilla was supposed to compete on URCC XIX, but had to pull out due to an injury he suffered in training.