Brazilian fighter Bibiano Fernandes did not have what many would call a typical 2011 New Years Eve.
While many were waiting to ring in the new year with drinks and new resolutions that they had little chance of accomplishing, Fernandes charged Antonio Banuelos, who had just fallen to the mat, and delivered a vicious ground and pound before the referee stopped the fight. By defeating Banuelos, Fernandes captured the Dream 2011 World Bantamweight Grand Prix championship.
After eight months of being out of action, Fernandes will face Gustavo Falciroli in the main event of One FC 5: Pride of a Nation, August 31.
Fighting out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Fernandes debuted in 2004.
After winning his first fight in 31 seconds with a rear naked choke, he faced Urijah Faber for the King of the Cage Bantamweight championship. Despite Fernandes having control of the fight in the first round, Faber was able to reverse and deliver several elbows that opened a cut on Fernandes’ forehead, resulting in the referee stopping the fight.
Fernandes next fight would be against Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto at Hero’s 3, with Yamamoto earning a victory by decision.
Fernandes traveled to Calgary, Alberta, to fight for the Raw Combat promotion. In his next two fights he defeated Juan Barrantes by decision and Len Tam in the first round with a triangle choke.
In March 2009, Fernandes would compete in Dream’s 2009 Featherweight Grand Prix tournament. The brazilian fighter would plow through the first three rounds, defeating Takafumi Otsuka, Masakazu Imanari and Joe Warren. In the finals, he defeated Hiroyuki Takaya by split-decision and not only won the grand prix, but also became Dream’s first featherweight champ .
During his reign as champion, Fernandes successfully defended his title against former lightweight champion Joachim Hansen. For his second title defense he faced Takaya in a rematch in the main event at Dynamite!! 2010, however Takaya would win the fight by decision, avenging his loss and capturing Fernandes’ championship.
Nine months after his loss to Takaya, Fernandes would enter Dream’s 2011 Bantamweight Grand Prix, defeating Otsuka, Rodolfo Marques and Banuelos to the championship.
After it was announced that Dream ceased operations, there were speculations to where Fernandes end up. Several websites reported that he signed with the UFC and was going to compete at UFC 149, before pulling out due to injury.
Fernandes would set the record straight, saying that while he negotiated with the UFC, he never officially signed a contract. In June 2012, One FC announced they had signed Fernandes.
In an interview with Sherdog.com, Fernandes said that signing with One FC instead of the UFC was better for him and his family.
“Why would I go fight [in the] UFC for sh—y money? I believe One FC can be the best — the No. 1 promotion in the world. One FC will be around for a long time for sure, depending on how everyone works together, and depending on me too.”
While Fernandes said he would welcome a chance to fight for a championship in One FC, he first has to defeat Falciroli.
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