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Bibiano Fernandes not fighting at UFC 149, not signing with the UFC

It appears someone at the Zuffa offices jumped the gun last week when the organization reported bantamweight Bibiano Fernandes had inked a deal with the UFC and would make his debut on July 21 in Calgary against Roland Delorme. However, as it turns out, Fernandes will not be fighting at UFC 149, hasn’t signed anything, and isn’t likely to be heading to the Octagon at any point in the immediate future.

“Negotiations between the UFC and myself did take place; however, we could not resolve the issues on the table and as a result we did not come to an agreement,” wrote Fernandes on his Facebook page.

According to Fuel TV reporter Ariel Helwani via Twitter, Fernandes was offered a better deal by Asian MMA promotion One FC and seems set to sign their contract instead.

Fernandes holds an 11-3 record with success in the ring against Joe Warren, Antonio Banuelos, Masakazu Imanari, and Joachim Hansen. He is currently on a three-fight winning streak including a pair of bouts on the same night as part of the DREAM Bantamweight Grand Prix. The 32-year old Brazilian also previously held the now-defunct organization’s featherweight title as well.

His full statement can be found below:

“I would like to make perfectly clear the news concerning my involvement with the UFC. It was announced that I, Bibiano Fernandes have been contracted to fight for the organization at UFC 149 which will take place in the city of Calgary on the 21st of July. I would like to make it clear that I am not a UFC athlete as I did not sign any contract with the UFC organization.”

“Negotiations between the UFC and myself did take place; however, we could not resolve the issues on the table and as a result we did not come to an agreement The recent reports that have been circulating in the media are false, contrary to what is being said, I am not a UFC athlete.”

“I did not find the terms set before me by the UFC beneficial to my family and as a result an agreement could not be reached and no contract was signed. It should be noted that the UFC is the largest MMA organization in the world. However, my personal and professional obligations have brought me to the decision that I will not be a part of the UFC organization at this point in time. The day that an agreement is reached and the terms set forth are beneficial to both parties involved, I will have the most pleasure and satisfaction to fight for the organization while always representing my beloved country.”


  • THEGUNNER says:

    Maybe they told him he has to use trt or hes out. Lol

  • Rece Rock says:

    Lies, lies, lies.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    shame, though One FC can put on some entertaining scraps for sure

  • Lord Faust says:

    Can’t fault the guy for taking more money, especially in Asia where I am sure he’s got some actual name recognition.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Yeah, seems like the exposure that comes with fighting under the UFC banner trumps whatever difference in contractual $$, but in this case the dude is probably pretty well established with Asian MMA fans, to offset that usual UFC advantage (with marketing/sponsorship $$).

    If he was 22 I’d think he was foolish not to sign with the UFC, but at 32 can’t blame him for taking the best deal on the table.

  • Lord Faust says:

    From the last salaries I looked at, he was making six figures in DREAM. I would imagine easier travel also factors in.

    I think the UFC is underestimating the money in the MMA market outside North America. Kalidov and now Fernandes have both said “thanks, but no thanks”.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    do get the feeling UFC is more interested in paying for the name than the ability.
    Take a guy like Mamed Khalidov, there is a good chance he is one of the best middleweights on the planet, and he could possibly run through most of the UFC MW division.
    BUT, no one in North America knows him so he can’t sell ppv’s so he’s not worth big bucks.
    until that trend changes and they start paying younger fighters based on ability, they’re gonna miss out on signing some of the best fighters. i actually thought Bellator would have picked up Mamed by now.
    Also Europe is screaming out for a major promotion to put some work in. The market is open for someone to make a killing, there is so many top prospects in Europe in all weight classes, I’m amazed the UFC hasnt attempted a European league as yet. It would blow up

  • MCM says:

    If they start paying on the UFC’s ability to judge young fighters based on skill, we’re gonna wind up with a bunch of Phillipe Nover’s making 6 figures per fight.
    I won’t knock a fighter for going where he thinks he can earn the most at his job, but I also can’t blame the UFC for not wanting to take a huge risk on an uncertain commodity. Whether we admit it or not, the fact is that, outside of Brazilians, foreigners are a hard sell in the UFC. For as much as Dana and co are trying to take their brand global, it’s still a very North American brand. And that’s the market they have to sell to.

  • Rece Rock says:

    well said.


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