Bibiano Fernandes focused on title defense, but wouldn’t say no to Eddie Alvarez fight
October was a big month for ONE Championship.
Shortly after the signing of former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, it the promotion traded Ben Askren for Demetrious Johnson with the UFC.
Bibiano Fernandes, who graduated “Mighty Mouse” to brown belt in jiu-jitsu, is excited with what the future holds for the Asian promotion.
The Brazilian fighter is focused on a ONE Championship unification bout with interim bantamweight titleholder Kevin Belingon on Nov. 9 Singapore, but won’t shy away from the idea of a superfight.
“Well, man, if it’s good business, we’ll fight. I would definitely fight,” Fernandes told MMA Fighting of moving up in weight to face Alvarez.
With a different ruleset when it comes to weight cutting and no dehydration allowed, the bantamweight limit at ONE is 145 pounds instead of the the regular 135 pounds. The same works for lightweight, which has a 170-pound limit in ONE.
“He’s good, it would be a great fight,” Fernandes said of Alvarez. “Bibiano is here, he’s working. I’ve done a lot for the sport, but I’m a professional mixed martial artist and I like to fight. I don’t like to talk trash about others, I like the martial art. I don’t like to talk, I like to fight.”
ONE Championship has yet to announce a date and opponent for Alvarez’s promotional debut, but he’s expected to be part of an eight-man lightweight grand prix in 2019. Fernandes believes his arrival will bring new eyeballs to the company.
“People are too focused on the UFC, but this company has grown a lot,” Fernandes said. “Listen to me, if it continues to grow like this, it will surpass the UFC. ONE doesn’t work with pay-per-view, it doesn’t work with trash talk, so I think it will surpass the UFC pretty soon because the UFC has no other way to make money. ONE has a better plan for the future.
“I think it was a smart decision from Eddie Alvarez to fight at ONE. Both Eddie and ONE will benefit from it. If you’re an MMA fighter, you should come to ONE. ONE takes care of its champions.”
Riding an impressive 14-fight winning streak, which includes nine straight title bout victories under the ONE banner, “The Flash” is looking forward to his upcoming rematch with Belingon. The Brazilian only needed one round to submit “The Silencer” the first time they met in 2016, but expects a tougher battle in Singapore.
“He’s more mature as a MMA fighter now,” Fernandes said of his opponent. “I think he has evolved a little bit in the jiu-jitsu area, his sprawls are better. That right hand, that low kick coming with a left hand over the top, he has evolved. It will be a great fight.
“I’m a mixed martial artist. On the feet, on the ground, with the takedowns, I have many options to win this fight. I fight to win, no matter how. I fight to win, and the win will come no matter what.”
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