ONE FC Champ Bibiano Fernandes Says Masakatsu Ueda is “Just Another Opponent”

April 27, 2014
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Bibiano Fernandes One FC TDBibiano Fernandes has been in with the best bantamweights and featherweights in Asia and he has beaten them all during the course of dominant campaigns that have seen him claim two titles with Dream and one with ONE FC.

Masakazu Imanari, Joe Warren, Joachim Hansen, Horoyuki Takaya, Antonio Banuelos, Yoshiro Maeda… Fernandes has beaten them all and more, although Takaya did manage to defeat him in a featherweight rematch.

There is no way of knowing whether or not Fernandes is the best 135-pounder in the world at this point, but it is impossible to prove that he’s not because the Brazilian has been absolutely unbeatable in a division which he hasn’t been defeated in since 2007.

So while Masakatsu Ueda brings an impressive 16-2-2 record into their ONE FC: Rise of Heroes fight, as well as some big wins of his own, Fernandes says he isn’t losing any sleep worrying about the Japanese veteran.

“For me he’s just another opponent; I look at them all the same.”

While Fernandes can’t stop winning at the moment, one thing he has yet to do inside the ONE FC cage is finish a fight, although he has registered a quick-fire submission win over Maeda at Dream 18 since signing for Asia’s leading MMA promotion.

It is a problem that a lot of dominant champions seem to have, with former UFC champion Georges St-Pierre being the obvious example, but Fernandes is determined to score a stoppage against Ueda.

“I really, really want to finish the fight and I believe I will do that,” he said.

On paper Ueda is potentially the best fighter Fernandes has faced since he started competing in Asia and he acknowledges that his next opponent does not have any obvious holes in his game.

“He’s well rounded. I don’t really know what his weakness is, but I will find it at the fight. I don’t think he’s the best opponent I’ve faced recently, as I have had some tough fights with ONE FC already,” he said.

Fernandes is established alongside Shinya Aoki as the face of ONE FC and both are highly ranked fighters who could have ended up in the UFC, but chose to pursue a career competing in Asia.

The name of Ben Askren can be added to the list of ONE FC’s elite pound-for-pound fighters after the former Bellator welterweight king put pen to paper earlier this year. Fernandes is excited about the direction that the promotion is headed in.

“ONE FC is the largest growing organization in the world and their offer came at the right time for me. Victor (Cui) is a great businessman. He knows what he’s doing and the sky is the limit.”

While Brazilian fighters have been making waves all over the world since the sport’s inception, it is only recently that major international events have started to take place in Brazil. Fernandes hasn’t fought in his homeland since making his pro debut in 2004, but says he isn’t in a hurry to return.

“I’ll fight wherever I have to. I’m happy fighting in Asia right now, but you never know the future…”

Should he prevail against Ueda, his future is widely expected to involve a move up to 145 pounds, although Dae Hwan Kim is still waiting in the bantamweight wings. However, Fernandes says that a return to the division in which he claimed his first Dream Grand Prix is far from a foregone conclusion.

“I’m not sure (about moving up in weight) I’ll think about it when the offer presents itself, but everything is possible and it depends on how I feel and the condition of my health,” he said.

As Fernandes himself stated, anything is indeed possible, and Ueda’s camp are very confident they will emerge from ONE FC: Rise of Heroes with a victory. If the Brazilian can secure an eighth successive win then, while people will debate his position in the pound-for-pound rankings, there can be no questioning his greatness.

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  • onepunch

    Why would a fighter need to go to another promotion when they are treated well and paid a decent amount? Unless they r being offered more money, most would not leave. The whole point of having more orgs operating in the same market is to create competition and allows potential employees to shop around, which exactly what happened in Ben’s case. Furthermore, just for the record, One FC is now officially the second largest in the world and this has been confirmed by reliable sources such as yahoo sports, time magazine and the wall street journal etc. These r leading publications and not by hearsay. Anyway, the event on 2nd May will be entertaining as it always is due to its Rule set. Watch and compare from its inception to the end.

    • Alex

      Officially the second largest in the world?
      LOL who cares – they are not even close to the UFC, there is a freaking ABYSS between them and the UFC, both Bellaturd and One FC.

      One FC have no serious competition, and can crushers like Bibi and Askren know that, and came there not to compete, but to get easy $$ for an easy job.
      Yes, Askren too – he was offered to test himself against MMA wrestlers in WSOF, but he’s too scared to fight wrestlers after Hieron – he knows they will expose him.

      One FC had ONE guy who was a real FIGHTER at heart – Leanrdo Issa, that’s why he thrown them and went to the UFC. Too bad he had no skills LOL, so he got beat in the first fight.

  • Jerald Cravenor

    Interesting analysis. I can’t wait to see the next fight of fernandes

  • Alex

    Bibi fights an overrated Japanese guy, who got fired from Bellator after one fight, where he got beat by an old wrestler in a boring fight. And he was ranked #7 back then, only because he fought in Japan – what a joke LOL

    Bibi is not a fighter, he’s just there for the money. He doesn’t have anything competitive in him, he just wants to beat cans.
    He’s not a sportsman and not a true martial artists, who look for competition.