ONE bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes is viewed by many as one of the top fighters competing outside of the UFC.
Later this month at ONE: Kingdom of Warriors, Fernandes returns to the cage to take on Toni Tauru in the main event. It will be his third title defense for the promotion, which he has competed in since 2012.
Along with his standout run in ONE, the 35-year-old Brazilian is also a DREAM bantamweight and featherweight grand prix winner, earning titles in both divisions with his performances – which he still views as some of the greatest fights of his career.
“I don’t have a favorite (fight), but winning the DREAM Grand Prix Featherweight title was pretty cool,” said Fernandes, during a recent interview with FightLine.
While some have referred to him as the top 135-pound fighter in the world, Fernandes prefers to just work on bettering himself each and every fight. He’s won nine straight, including finishes of Dae Hwan Kim, Yoshiro Maeda and Antonio Banuelos.
“I don’t think about that at all (the ranking),” he said. “I just feel like a regular fighter trying to do my best. Every fight is a new challenge for me.”
Since joining up with ONE in 2012 and claiming a decision over Gustavo Falciroli, Fernandes has fought five times. He says the promotion has “really good production, they keep it classy and it is all about the sport.”
He’ll be facing Tauru, a top-ranked fighter from Iceland, for his upcoming title defense.
“My training is going really well,” he said. “I have great coaches and teammates who help me. I’m ready to defend my ONE bantamweight championship belt.
“I’ve been training with a taller guy, Jay, so that I can feel the height difference. Other than that, nothing new. I feel confident with my coaches I have.”