Bibiano Fernandes Has No Regrets Turning Down UFC Deal; Happy with ONE FC Future

January 7, 2013
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Dream featherweight champion Bibiano FernandesTop ranked bantamweight Bibiano Fernandes had a very interesting year in 2012, but much of the action surrounding him had nothing to do with his performance in the cage.

The DREAM champion was rumored to sign with the UFC earlier last year before an offer came in from Asian promotion ONE FC at the eleventh hour that stole him away for a longterm deal.

Some fans were left scratching their heads at the decision because Fernandes is ranked as a top ten bantamweight, and most fighter recognize the bulk of the talent in that division is currently competing in the UFC Octagon.

Fernandes, however, was looking at his family’s financial future, and the offer made by ONE FC was too good to pass up. He ultimately opted to sign with them. Now one fight in with the promotion, as well as a strong year-end performance at DREAM.18 to close out 2012, does Fernandes have any regrets with his decision?

“Of course I’m happy with my choice,” Fernandes told “My last fight was already aired live all over North America so (the fans) can still follow me. Right now my focus is with ONE FC; what the future holds only God knows.

“When one door closes another one opens.”

Fernandes traveled back to Japan, a country where he’s spent a big part of his fighting career, to close out the year. He picked up a dominant win over former WEC contender Yoshiro Maeda, and now turns his attention towards 2013 and his next fight with ONE FC.

While he does reveal that there is a fight already lined up, Fernandes stopped short of revealing the details, but ONE FC does have a card in early February with more cards being added as the year moves on. No matter the plans, Fernandes is happy with his new home, and is looking forward to a good year with them.

“I’ve only had one fight so far, but it was a good experience. It’s a good organization and I believe it will keep growing. I’m happy to be a part of ONE FC. I already have my next fight scheduled, but I will let them make the announcement,” said Fernandes.

“As far as being busy goes, I’ll have to ask Victor (Cui, CEO of ONE FC) about that one.”

The biggest criticism of Fernandes’ signing with ONE FC wasn’t his decision to opt for more money because every fighter wants to make a living and provide for their family, but with talent spread thin at 135 pounds and the majority of the top fighters currently competing in the UFC’s bantamweight division, the real question was who would Fernandes fight there?

He’s not concerned with that question, however, because he believes ONE FC will find fights for him, and Fernandes is happy to face any challenger they can bring in.

“There are definitely good guys for me over there, especially for my weight,” Fernandes commented.

“People in Asia tend to be smaller. Just because people may not be familiar with the names over here doesn’t mean there is not any talent there.” will have more information on Fernandes next fight when the information becomes available.

  • shakejunt

    of course he’s happy in onefc. he gets to fight all around asia against mid-tier guys and somehow maintain a top 5 ranking. the guy is talented, but it’s obvious he wasn’t looking for the biggest challenges when signing.

  • Seppo

    He is a douchebag

    • Guest

      Why? Because he opted for 120,000 a fight with a promotion that would push his brand hard marketing-wise from the start and thereby open up even more financial opportunities with regards to sponsorships and advertising? That makes him douchebag? You think he should have taken the 8000 a fight with an 8000 win bonus offer from the UFC instead? Maybe you haven’t heard but with the exception of 5 or so guys mma fighters make **** money-wise (and that goes double for the smaller guys) and no other group of athletes has such over-the-top expenses built into their sport. As an athlete he has a limited window of opportunity to make as much money as he can. Meaning he needs to support his family and plan for their future security after fighting. Is that really so difficult for you to understand?

      I dunno. Maybe you’re confusing the word “smart” with “douchebag.”

      • AJ

        Lord, chill the fu** out. Idiots like Seppo bash on fighters all day, every day. Deal with it.

      • Scotty_O

        Maybe he said if for another reasons…maybe they knew each other as kids…maybe Fernandes slept with his girlfriend…who knows. Maybe he is a douche, what do you know?

      • Timothy Malone

        You’re not good with financial decisions are you? John Moraga at the last UFC fought on the very first fight of the show, on Facebook prelims. He made $85,000. Let me know what Joe Blow on the bottom rank of One FC made last event. The UFC is where the money is IF you win and/or are exciting (You don’t even have to win to get $65,000 FOTN bonus). Fernandes either thinks he can’t win, can’t finish, and/or is boring, so he took the easy way out.

  • J. Pitts

    UFC will still be there when his deal is up.

  • Nurse mike

    At the end of the day it’s about can you pay your bills and take care of your family,not who you are fighting are where for that matter….

    • Timothy Malone

      At the end of the day, being UFC Champion makes you the most money in this sport. He must believe that he doesn’t have what it takes

  • Nick The Tooth

    This guy is not in the sport to be the best, he is just fighting to live well, put some food on the table, unlike a lot of UFC that make stupid deals just to be there…

  • This guys going to end up like Fedor; making a bad business decision and not going over to the UFC. No matter what this guy does he will always be questioned b/c he’s not fighting guys in the UFC. I’m a big fan of his and I respect his decision but the UFC gets all the top guys, that’s just how it is. These other promotions have great fighters and great fighters have to start somewhere but the UFC guys are always on the top of the rankings.

    • Brockely Lesnar

      Not really, his weight class is not currently very marketable, and as it stands he will not make much money in the UFC. His division in the UFC is very shallow, it wouldn’t have made any real sense to go there other than the fact that he can say “i’m in the ufc”. It used to be better when there was the WEC, because then hippies could claim to be real fans of fighting and mock people who only watch ufc because the smaller guys are much more exciting. I liked having the 2 organisations, but when I have a 4 hour card to watch, I’m not really interested in watching a 2 little guys jumping around, I just want to get to the point where Roidereem smashes Brock Lesnar. He made the right choice. It’s like someone offering you either a crappy pair of jeans with a Levi’s logo on them, or an awesome pair of jeans made out of better material, but by a lesser hyped label.

      • Your right that division doesn’t get much attention. I am ashamed to say I don’t know of any fighters he will be facing to keep him high in the rankings. He would have been a helpful addition to the UFC’s roster with his talent. But best of luck to him.

  • John doe

    first lets be real your making more money why he throw away money to fight in ufc he comp easy it doesnt matter to him easier fight its not dodging who going throw money out their pocket to line the ufc’s if the ufc wants the best fighter they got the biggest bankroll no one can stop if they choose not compete sorry fighters aernt gunna roll over cuz you got the fights