Bibiano Fernandes was primed for action at ONE: BAD BLOOD until John Lineker was forced to withdraw from their matchup, but the extra month of training has only increased his self-belief.
The ONE Bantamweight World Champion hasn’t missed a beat since the #1-ranked contender was sidelined due to COVID-19 – and the pair will now battle for the belt in the co-main event of ONE: LIGHTS OUT next Friday, 11 March.
Instead of getting thrown off track by the last-minute setback, the longtime king took stock of the things he could control and got straight back to work.
With that mindset pushing him forward, the Brazilian’s body and mind are fully honed in for his next World Title defense at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
“The Flash” said:
“No, [the delay wasn’t difficult]. I’m a professional athlete. I’ve been doing this since I was 14. There are things that are out of my control, but I am a warrior. I am prepared mentally and physically for whatever comes and goes. I went back to my camp, and I’m training hard to do a good job on the day of the fight. Mentally, I got even stronger. I’m very well-prepared and focused on my goal, which is victory.”
Fernandes – the most dominant World Champion in ONE Championship history – certainly knows how to win. He’s used his legendary BJJ talents to beat the best mixed martial artists on the global stage, and he does not think Lineker stands out from the rest.
Even though “Hands of Stone” has showcased concussive knockout power throughout his own career, his overall arsenal does not faze the reigning titleholder.
Fernandes said of his fellow Brazilian:
“I don’t think he has a dangerous striking. He has only good punches. I saw a lot of his fights, I studied his game with my coaches, and we saw that he has some really good hooks. He’s a short guy, which, in my opinion, helps him throw those punches. But I’m not worried about his striking or his skills. I’m very focused, and I know I’m going to go through Lineker. I know I will win this fight.
“He’s not a very good guy on the ground. He survives in the ground fight. When someone takes him down, he always tries to get up. He is taken down, goes to the corner of the cage and tries to get up. He won’t do jiu-jitsu with me. If he does, I have no doubt that I will finish him.”
What Could The Future Hold For Bibiano Fernandes?
Bibiano Fernandes has dominated ONE’s bantamweight MMA ranks for years, and veteran John Lineker could be one of his toughest tests to date. But if “The Flash” gets past the American Top Team representative, there will be a host of fresh contenders knocking on the door.
However, Fernandes doesn’t want to look past his upcoming rival – even if fans are salivating at some of the prospects for him down the line.
The 41-year-old said:
“I don’t think about the other opponents now. I think of the one in front of me. I don’t care who’s next, now my focus is on Lineker. When I face one of them, I will think about them.”
Still, after nine years as the bantamweight king, the Brazilian does have some thoughts on the future – and those could include the athletes in the ONE: LIGHTS OUT main event.
ONE Featherweight World Champion Thanh Le well put his belt on the line against multiple-time BJJ World Champion Garry Tonon, and Fernandes admits he could be interested in stepping up for a challenge.
“The Flash” revealed:
“I’m definitely thinking about moving up and fighting in the featherweight division. But, as I said, now my focus is on Lineker. I need to defend my belt before thinking about other goals. But in the future I think about fighting in the featherweight division.”