Kevin Belingon, Honorio Banario and Jomary Torres performances made it to ONE’s lists of Top performances in 2017.
ONE released three separate tops lists for 2017, the Five Top Outstanding Martial Artists, the Stellar Knockouts, and the Scintillating Submissions, naming these three in them.
Belingon, monickered the “Silencer” was the third Most Outstanding Martial Artist, Banario turned in the second best knockout, and Torres is fifth best in submissions and was an honorable mention for the Outstanding Martial Artists citation.
Since losing to reigning Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano Fernandes in January 2016, Belingon has barged through his top rivals with a slew of fearsome striking performances and showcased his incredible punching power.
It began with a thorough defeat of Tajikistan’s highly-touted Muin Gafurov in October 2016.
He followed by a complete first-round annihilation of Finnish submission wizard Toni Tauru on April 21. Belingon swarmed Tauru with a relentless barrage of attacks to earn a scintillating striking victory.
Those two consecutive wins earned Belingon a showdown with top bantamweight contender Reece “Lightning” McLaren in August 18.
Belingon needed just 62 seconds to end matters abruptly by dropping McLaren with a well-placed overhand right to the chin of McLaren and send him crashing to the canvas.
Belingon followed him down and swarmed McLaren with an endless barrage of fists which forced the referee to call the bout off officially at the 1:02 minute mark of the first round.
Belingon scored his fourth straight on November 10 by dominated Kevin Chung via unanimous decision.
Belingon frequently caught Chung with crushing right crosses and lashing kicks to the body from bell to bell in the bout.
With his recent excellence, Belingon is validating his case for a title rematch against Fernandes in 2018.
His 2017 performance was only dwarfed by Alex Silva, who brilliantly defeated a pair of top contenders and outclassed previously-undefeated titleholder Yoshitaka Naito to clinch the Strawweight World Championship; and Martin Nguyen, who captured two coveted world titles, stopping former undefeated Marat Gafurov for the Featherweight World Championship and knocking out Eduard Folayang for Lightweight World Championship
On the other hand, Banario included two spectacular finishes in his last four bouts, all wins.
On April 21, Banario took the lights out of ONE debutant Jaroslav Jartim with a single left hook.
The ending started with a ground battle. Banario initially had control but Jartim reverse positions to get on top.
Both men continued clinch while on the ground when Banario just stood up from scuffle and pushed aside Jartim against the cage.
As Jartim came rushing back and connected a body kick, Banario threw in a combination as a counter. His right found Jartim’s chest but the left hook landed square on Jartim’s jaw.
Jartim fall squarely to the canvass, his head going in a whiplash.
Banario tries to follow but the referee scrambled to get between the fighters and stop the fight.
Jartim was clearly out when Banario is circling the cage with his arms raised in triumph.
See full list and video clips: Banario is Second in ONE’s 2017 Stellar Knockouts List
The only knockout better than Honorio’s demolition of Jartim was Nguyen’s deliveing his aptly timed right straight counter to floor Folayang, who was attempting his patented spinning kick.
ONE describes the knockdown as Banario’s first real knockout victory since he stopped compatriot Andrew Benibe in August, 2012.
Torres, in the meantime, halted Thai superstar Rika Ishige’s rapid rise during her ONE on August 5 with a brilliant submission set-up by a knockdown from a leg kick she caught.
See full list and video clips: Torres makes list 2017 Top Five scintillating submissions
Torres knew Ishige is a proven grappler but was severely lacking in the striking department.
She proceeded to test her opponent’s stand-up game that ultimately resulted to the submission.
Torres brilliantly avoided being pinned in the three takes downs she suffered in the first round and dished some strikes that softened the “Tinydoll” including a double kick to the gut.
Sensing that Ishige was slowly fading, Torres then work to finish the match. At the 3:30 mark, Torres caught a kick from Ishige, fired an overhand right to drop her, followed her to the canvas, raining left-right combinations and brilliantly converted the attack to a rear-naked choke when Ishige turned her face away.
That dazzling finish of giving Ishige a taste of her own medicine got the announcers declaring she “shocked the world” and got her name considered as one of the three honorable mentions for the ONE Most Outstanding Martial Artist of the Year citation.
BY: ARMANDO M. BOLISLIS