MMA, martial arts

Brazil’s Bibiano Fernandes recalls being DREAM champion in Japan

Bibiano Fernandes, Chatri Sityodtong, Kevin Belingon (©ONE Championship)

Bibiano Fernandes, Chatri Sityodtong, Kevin Belingon (©ONE Championship)

Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes, 29, of Brazil has been reigning as the ONE Bantamweight World Championship since March 2019. He held the title from October 18, 2013 to November 9, 2018.

Fernandes used to hold the featherweight and bantamweight championship titles of now defunct Japanese mixed martial arts promotion DREAM. He is set to face Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, 31, of the Philippines inside the ONE Championship cage for the fourth time at “ONE: Century 世紀.”

The third time Belingon and Fernandes battled it out was at “ONE: A New Era” at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on March 31, 2019. It was the Brazilian champion who controversially got the win when the Filipino contender, who was then the interim ONE Bantamweight World Champion, was disqualified due to illegal elbows.

To settle the matter, Belingon and Fernandes will have yet another rematch in ONE Championship’s second event in Japan. The Singapore-based martial arts organization’s chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong named the event “ONE: Century 世紀” because he wanted to “signify the greatest martial arts event in the last 100 years.”

Open workout

On October 6, 2019, ONE Championship held an open workout at the Bellesalle Shibuya Garden in Tokyo, Japan featuring select “ONE: Century 世紀” athletes including Belingon and Fernandes. It was part of the ONE Martial Arts Fan Fest.

“I prepared myself very hard for this fight,” Fernandes said during the event. “I’m ready to compete this Sunday, October 13th in Tokyo, Japan. I’m very excited to face Kevin one more time.”

“The last time we fought, it ended controversially,” Fernandes continued. “Now, we get the chance to do it again and this time, there will be no doubt.”

“I look to successfully defend my ONE Bantamweight World Champion,” the Brazilian MMA veteran added. “I’m ready to show the fans in Tokyo a very good performance.”

Press conference

“ONE: Century 世紀” press conference took place at the Park Hyatt in Tokyo, Japan on October 10, 2019. It was attended by Chatri and ONE Championship Japan president Andy Hata.

“I am always very happy to come back to Japan,” Fernandes shared. “I began my mixed martial arts career here in Japan. In 2009, I was the DREAM Bantamweight Champion. In 2011, I was the DREAM Featherweight Champion.”

“I’m back and glad to see all of my friends here,” Fernandes continued. “I’m here with my longtime training partner Demetrious Johnson, who is fighting here again. I want to thank Chatri Sityodtong for the opportunity.”

“ONE Championship is the home of martial arts,” the Brazilian MMA veteran added. “ONE Championship cares about its athletes. I realized that at this moment, I want to be a part of ONE Championship forever in my life.”

Belingon declared that he has prepared “1000 percent for this fight. He thanked Japan and said he is “ready to give the best fight of the night.”

Fight night

“ONE: Century 世紀” is the 100th live event of ONE Championship. It features 28 world champions from across various martial arts and seven world title bouts in two full-scale events.

The first part will be broadcast live in the United States via TNT and B/R Live. It starts from 9:00 a.m. JST on October 13, 2019 or 8:00 p.m. EST on October 12, 2019.

Belingon and Fernandes’s fourth fight will be one of the three co-main events of the second part, which will be broadcast live across more than 140 countries worldwide and streamed to 2.6 billion potential viewers through the world’s largest television networks. It starts from 5:00 p.m. JST on October 13, 2019 or 4:00 a.m. EST on October 12, 2019.

Watch the “ONE: Century 世紀” press conference highlights here:

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