Bibiano Fernandes no longer has his bantamweight belt but the Brazilian still has his pride. He faces Stephen Loman at ONE on Prime Video 4 and warns the Filipino that beating him won’t be easy.
Fernandes is 42 and hasn’t won a fight since 2019. He admits that Loman is a formidable opponent but says he will be ready for war,
“On the day of the fight, I will be ready to face him. He’s a good fighter and he can even beat me but I’ll tell you something, he won’t win easily I will be a war.”
He returned from a three year absence at ONE: ‘Lights Out’ but was knocked out by John Lineker. Fernandes feels he was suffering from ‘ring rust’ after so long away from the cage,
“The fight with Lineker was a good experience. I hadn’t fought for many years, and I didn’t have a fight rhythm. But now, I’m trained and focused for my next challenge.”
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) May 6, 2022
This will be his second fight of 2022 and the Brazilian thinks he will be better prepared than he was for the bout against Lineker,
“Since the defeat, I’ve been training a lot. I made several adjustments, and I’m ready to fight on November 18.”
This will be Fernandes’ first non title fight since 2012. While a belt will not be on the line he has nothing but respect for his opponent,
“Stephen Loman is a great fighter. He’s in great physical shape, he’s a fighter who hits and moves all the time. He kicks a lot, throws overhands with his left hand, and moves a lot in the cage. He’s an excellent fighter.”
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) September 30, 2021
Fernandes is a BJJ black belt and is not known for his striking although you don’t win 24 MMA fights as well as multiple tournaments and titles without being well rounded. He knows his opponent is dangerous in this department but says he ‘understands’ Loman’s game,
“My striking has evolved a lot. He has a very good striking game, he has a dangerous left hand, he works well with his right hand hooks, and his straight with his left hand. I understand his game. He’s a dangerous guy, and he moves a lot.”
But while Fernandes believes his striking skills are underrated it is no secret that he is a serious threat on the ground.
“I’m sure my grappling is far superior to his grappling. I’m sure he’s working hard not to be taken down, but I’m prepared and focused for this fight. I’m training a lot my striking and my ground game. I’m going to test his grappling, his wrestling, and his striking. I’m sure I’ll have a good fight against him. If he messes up, I’ll finish him.”