ONE Championship: Winter Warriors II shook up the bantamweight rankings with three fighters looking to crack or improve their standing in the top five. One of them, Kwon Won Il, was able to defeat No.2-ranked Kevin Belingon in a second-round knockout and he made his case why he deserved to have a title shot.
The ONE Championship bantamweight title fight between Bibiano Fernandes and John Lineker is rumored to be happening sometime in early 2022. 'Pretty Boy' has been very vocal that he should be the next fighter to fight the winner since he defeated a former champion during his interview with The AllStar.
"People might say Stephen Loman could be next, but for me, I don’t agree with that," said Kwon. "Stephen Loman is a great athlete, he’s a great fighter but he was a champion in another organization. He just had one fight in ONE Championship. So I don’t think he deserves that title shot next. Maybe he should do one more and Kevin Belingon is still a higher-ranked fighter than Yusuf Saadulaev."
Another fighter who showed his intentions to compete for the belt was Fabricio Andrade who defeated Li Kai Wen in the lead card. Once again, Kwon cited the reason why he should be favored over the Brazilian fighter who is currently ranked fifth in the bantamweight division.
"They might think of Fabricio Andrade, yes he is very good, very talented and he is very tough, I agree with that but the only ranked guy he heat was Shoto Sato. The last guy he beat was Li Kai Wen, he isn’t ranked," said Kwon
Watch Kwon Won Il's full interview with The AllStar
ONE Championship rankings don't matter for Kwon Won Il
Kwon Won Il improved his professional record to 11-3 after beating Kevin Belingon and he is now on a three-fight winning streak. Aside from Belingon, he defeated Bruno Pucci and Rui Chen in that run.
Prior to the streak, 'Pretty Boy' struggled to keep his rhythm intact, winning three of his six fights before entering ONE Championship. By defeating Belingon, the fighter from South Korea is confident that he should be the next fighter to compete for a title shot no matter what ranking is given to him.
'Pretty Boy' added that he did not care about the rankings and all that mattered to him was a title shot.