ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes has been highly regarded for his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt skills for years.
Fernandes, who is the most dominant titleholder in ONE Championship history, scored one of the most incredible stoppages of his mixed martial arts career that night in July, 2015.
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Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, July 30, 2017
The Brazilian flattened the Finnish star with a crunching right hand on a historic night for the world’s largest martial arts organization.
Fernandes looks back on the night with pride, as he headlined the promotion’s inaugural event at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.
“I remember fighting Toni Tauru – it was the first show in the history of Myanmar. I remember the training and hard preparation for that fight, and I felt good on the day,” the 39-year-old recalls.
“The fans were very loud and very crazy. It was intense. It was a very good experience fighting in Myanmar. I always look to do my best every time I fight. That’s the way I do it, and that’s the way I fight.”
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Tauru did offer up some problems for the ONE Bantamweight World Champion with his tricky guard and near-impenetrable ground defense in the opening two stanzas, but Fernandes started to feel like he had the upper hand as the bout progressed.
“When the fight came, I found it very hard to adjust. He was so big and so tall, and he tried to scramble with me in the wrestling, so I went to the body,” the legend says.
“In the first round, I believe I pushed him and tried to take him down. He defended my takedown and when we came back up, he went for my leg.
“I scrambled there and started to feel my strength in the grappling. When I stood up, I hit him in the body with a knee. I could feel it hurt him, so I kept pushing.”
Fernandes began to see the gaps in Tauru’s armor and soon, he dialed up the intensity.
The Brazilian found the mark with his striking just seconds into the third round. He sensed the finish was near and chased his rival down.
“I hit him with the knee to the body, and I felt that I hurt him. After that, I went to the body again, then with an uppercut, and then with the right hand,” the Brazilian explains.
“He moved into the right hand with the perfect timing. When he moved that way, I connected and he fell.”
The action was officially waved off at the 1:02 mark of the third frame, giving the defending titleholder his first knockout victory in ONE Championship.
Most athletes would be elated with such a convincing finish, and although “The Flash” was ecstatic with yet another successful ONE Bantamweight World Title defense, the KO was not at the top of his agenda.
“I felt good afterward – not because I knocked him out, but because I won. I don’t like to knock out people. I prefer to finish them [by submission], but that day was the right moment,” he says.
“The thing with fighting, for me, is I am always confident. I do not question myself, ever. It doesn’t matter who the guy is, I will be waiting for him.
“With Toni Tauru, I adjusted in there. He tried to scramble with me, so I began to scramble, and then I punched him, kicked him, and kneed him. That moment opened for me, and I took it. It was a nice knockout to end the night.”