Defending champ Fernandes wants see how good a contender McLaren is

Defending champ Fernandes

This Friday, defending champ Fernandes will test the skills of his young contender.

Brazilian MMA champ Bibiano Fernandes climbed up the ranks to become one of the best bantamweights in the sport. He asserted his dominance in Asia with his high-level grappling and striking game.

Undefeated in seven fights, Fernandes remains to be the undisputed champion at the 135-pounds in ONE FC. Heading to his latest title defense this Friday, he faces a young and talented contender in Reece McLaren.

When asked about his thoughts of his upcoming opponent, Bibiano says that his next challenger is impressive especially on the ground.

“I see that he has good Jiu-jitsu, very good Jiu-jitsu. He strikes a little bit, but not a crazy striker, not like Kevin Belingon,” Fernandes told DojoDrifter.com. “For me, when I watch him, I think he’s the best Jiu-jitsu by far (out of all contenders). Very good jiu-jitsu and his takedowns are very good. He always likes to go for the single leg.”

McLaren, a native of Queensland, Australia, has put together a fine effort in his stint with the promotion. After shocking highly-touted Mark Streigl in his Asian debut, he followed up with a unanimous decision win over then-undefeated Muin Gafurov of Tajikistan.

Fernandes likes the type of challenge McLaren presents. He perceives the Australian as a formidable opponent to his title and has been looking forward to face him even before the fight was announced.

I want to see how good he is, how strong he is and how good his Jiu-jitsu really is. I’m excited for him. I see him as a good opponent (for the belt) and I think this will be a very good fight.

“When I watch him here, I think he’s a very good opponent. He’s good, but I don’t know if he’s ready because he beat everybody there and I want to see him one day live when I go there. I want to see how good he is, how strong he is and how good his Jiu-jitsu really is. I’m excited for him. I see him as a good opponent (for the belt) and I think this will be a very good fight.”

Asked if the fight would be a grappling war between the two fighters, Bibiano thinks otherwise. “The Flash” believes that while the fight would definitely go to the ground at one point in their match, it doesn’t mean that he’ll rely on it. What is certain is he’ll be ready for McLaren once the cage doors close.

I’m good at Jiu-jitsu but I don’t only rely on it…Aside from Jiu-jitsu, I’m also good in boxing, muay thai, wrestling and for me, I have the option whether I can fight stand-up or on the ground.

“That question is very interesting because I’m good at Jiu-jitsu but I don’t only rely on it. I evolved in every way, you know what I mean?” He adds, “Aside from Jiu-jitsu, I’m also good in boxing, muay thai, wrestling and for me, I have the option whether I can fight stand-up or on the ground. But as I watched him, he’s good, he’s good in Jiu-jitsu but I have to go there and like feel his Jiu-jitsu.”

Fernandes ends, “Until then, I can say that I know the style he has or I know the kind of game he plays. I understand the game he has, but I have to go there and feel how good he is and that’s when I have to judge something.”
 

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Mike Miguel

If there’s anything MMA related going down in the Philippines, Mike would know about it. With a knack for photography and social media, Mike never misses a beat.
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