B.C. MMA champion Bibiano Fernandes to meet double title-holder

The five-foot-seven Fernandes started his pro career in his native Brazil, in Manaus, in 2004

Vancouver-based Bibiano-The-Flash-Fernandes will defend his One Championship bantamweight title against featherweight and lightweight champion Martin-The-Situ-Asian-Nguyen.

The two will face off in the main event of the “One: Iron Will” card scheduled for March 24 at the Impact Arena in Bangkok.

Nguyen (10-1-0) is bidding to hold titles at 135, 145 and 155 pounds.

Standing in his way is the 37-year-old Fernandes. The Brazilian-born 135-pounder has not lost since December 2010, winning 13 straight including 10 in a row in the One Championship.

Fernandes (21-3-0) won the bantamweight world title in 2013, defending it six times. Last time out he submitted American Andrew Leone in the first round.

The 28-year-old Nguyen was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, to refugee parents who fled Vietnam by way of Malaysia and Indonesia.

Nguyen took up martial arts at the age of 21, winning his pro debut in 2012. He is 7-1-0 in One Championship bouts, losing to Russian Marat Gafurov on short notice in 2015 for the interim featherweight title.

He then reeled off four straight first-round stoppage before knocking out Gafurov in August 2017 to claim the 145-pound crown.

Three months later, Nguyen knocked out Filipino 155-pounder Eduard Folayang to capture the lightweight title and became the first One Championship fighter to rule two divisions.

The five-foot-seven Fernandes started his pro career in his native Brazil, in Manaus, in 2004.

He had a rough childhood in Brazil. After his mother died, he lived for a time with his aunt in the Amazon.

He was 14, selling ice cream and cleaning houses, when he started learning jiu-jitsu. The mother of a friend paid for his lessons to start with. When that ran out, he cleaned the gym to pay for them.

Fernandes did it for almost four years. Then his coach told him to quit cleaning and focus on becoming a world champion. Fernandes did just that, going on to win world, Brazilian and Pan-Am jiu-jitsu titles before switching his focus on MMA.

He was at a jiu-jitsu competition in California some 12 years ago when he was invited to come train in Canada. He liked what he saw and stayed, marrying and raising a family.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Demonstrators plan to shut down Pat Bay Highway Wednesday afternoon

Adam Olsen, MLA, says issue should be taken to province, not communities

Wear your rose-coloured glasses for the second annual Pink Shirt Gala

Anti-bullying event promises pink drinks, food and shirts

Pink Shirt Day originator to speak at Monterey school in Oak Bay

Travis Price continues anti-bullying movement with Island tour

Pink Shirt Day uplifting for West Shore RCMP

Members of the West Shore RCMP have scheduled a variety of activities with students Feb. 26

Rail disruptions expected to continue after new protest sites emerge

Nationwide rail and road blockades have been popping up for weeks

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Pink Shirt Day campaign urges Canadians to ‘Lift Each Other Up’

Annual anti-bullying effort returns Wednesday, Feb. 26

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

Most Read