Bibiano Fernandes will make the third defense of his bantamweight title when he faces Finland’s Toni Tauru at ONE: Kingdom of Warriors. The event is set for July 18 and will take place at the Thuwunna National Indoor Stadium in Yangon.
It will be ONE Championship’s first ever card in Myanmar, a country that has undergone seismic changes recently. The Southeast Asian nation currently has the fourth fastest growing economy in the entire world and is developing at an unprecedented rate.
The main event sees Fernandes (17-3) look to extend his nine-fight winning streak against an opponent who has won his last ten. Tauru (10-1-1) is the reigning CWFC bantamweight champion and hasn’t lost a fight in four years.
Fernandes won an interim version of the ONE title by defeating Koetsu Okazaki by decision and then unified the belts with another decision win, this time at the expense of inaugural champion Soo Chul Kim. He submitted the previously undefeated Dae Hwan Kim in the second round of his most recent title defense.
Tauru won the CWFC 135-pound title last September by submitting Cory Tait late in the fourth round. His last seven wins have all come courtesy of a submission, six of them via rear naked choke, but in Fernandes he faces an opponent who is a multiple time BJJ world champion.
Last year saw ONE Championship move into new territories such as Dubai, Taiwan, Phnom Penh, and China, and CEO Victor Cui is excited to be adding Myanmar to the list of country’s his promotion has visited.
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“ONE Championship is the first major world class event in Myanmar with the invitation and support from the Ministry of Sports and we are delighted to finally get the chance to bring our unique brand of adrenaline-pumping mixed martial arts action, live to fight fans in Myanmar.”
It was something of a surprise to see the promotion put one of its most marketable champions on this card, and Cui promises that will be more big fights announced in the coming weeks.
“It is part of our growth plan to bring opportunities to countries with a rich history in martial arts and combat sports such as Myanmar. Hence, we’re building an absolutely explosive fight card and it is our goal to leave a lasting impression with fans across the country.”
Next up for Asia’s biggest MMA promotion is ONE: Dynasty of Champions, which is set for Guangzhou this Saturday and will be headlined by a featherweight fight between Timofey Nastyukhin and Yusuke Kawanago.
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