ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes has four top contenders on his heels. And he’ll have to deal with one of them – #1-ranked John “Hands of Stone” Lineker – next Friday, 11 February, at ONE: BAD BLOOD.
The two Brazilians have gone back and forth on numerous occasions ahead of their main-event showdown at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, and the animosity they hold for one another is genuine.
However, when the Circle door closes next Friday night, all the chatter will cease, and the two men will scrap it out for the strap – and the ultimate bragging rights. Fans know that much, at least.
But there may be a few things about the defending World Champion that fans don’t yet know. So, let’s take a look at seven lesser-known facts about “The Flash.”
#1 He’s ONE’s Most Dominant World Champion
Fernandes is not only the current ONE Bantamweight World Champion, but he’s also the most dominant titleholder the organization has ever had.
The 41-year-old legend holds the record for most title defenses with nine and most title wins with 11.
To put this feat into perspective, the second closest athlete in each category is ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan with six defenses, and ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes with seven title victories.
#2 He’s A Decorated BJJ World Champion
Aside from being the most dominant World Champion in ONE history, Fernandes is a three-time Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt World Champion and a three-time World Jiu-Jitsu Championship Black Belt Gold Medalist.
It’s no wonder that he holds nine submission wins on his record and is one of the most feared grapplers in MMA.
#3 He’s Not A Couch Potato
This may not come as a surprise, but “The Flash” is rarely found stretched out on the sofa, binge-watching television shows with a dusting of cheese-flavored chips all over his shirt.
Instead, he likes to stay active – even when not training.
One of the Brazilian’s favorite pastimes is taking his kids for walks in the mountains near his adopted hometown of Vancouver, Canada.
#4 But He Does Like The Occasional Movie
Fernandes isn’t totally against screen time, however. He occasionally likes to sit and watch movies.
The star is a fan of “The Lord of the Rings” films, and he enjoyed “The Matrix Resurrections” when he watched it after it was released at the end of last year.
“It was a really cool movie,” he admits.
That said, the World Champion doesn’t hold the same level of enthusiasm for the big screen as he does for competing.
#5 He’d Play A Pastor In A Movie
He may be far from a movie buff, but if “The Flash” were ever to become an actor, he wouldn’t choose the role of an action star.
He’d rather play the part of someone more meaningful.
“We have a lot of bad situations in the world,” he says, “So it would be nice to have a role that helps people. I would be a pastor of a church – so I could pass on motivational words to people.”
#6 He’s A Budding Motivational Speaker
Fernandes recently got the chance to motivate the next generation when he returned to his hometown of Manaus, Brazil, to speak to students struggling with depression. In his speech, he made the point that he had to start at the very bottom just like them.
The AMC Pankration athlete’s early life wasn’t easy. His mother passed away when he was a young boy, and his father abandoned the family in the Amazon jungle. So, to make ends meet, he had to clean houses.
But he had the drive to achieve his goals, and the bantamweight star wanted the students to know that sometimes, that’s all it takes to pick yourself up.
#7 He Has Five Stripes On His Black Belt
“The Flash” has been training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for 27 years, which is a crazy feat in itself.
But what is more jaw-dropping is that he’s still constantly learning and improving, even at this stage of his career.
In fact, Fernandes was recently awarded a fifth stripe for his black belt by Grand Master Osvaldo Alves during a trip home to Brazil.