For ONE bantamweight champ Bibiano Fernandes, there’s more to his legacy than victories and belts

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Bibiano Fernandes believes that his career isn’t defined solely by his accomplishments inside the cage.

There’s no doubt that Bibiano Fernandes has put up a illustrious career in Asia. Throughout the years, the Brazilian has been synonymous to dominance in the region and has set the standard in the lighter-weight classes, as he’s dominated DREAM’s 145 and 135 pound Grand Prixes in addition to claiming its bantamweight title.

His success eventually extended in ONE Championship as the reigning bantamweight titleholder. There, he continues his five-year unbeaten streak. Owning the record of most victories (8) as well as title defenses (6) in ONE, he’s the winningest fighter in promotional history.

With his accolades, it’s easy to say that Fernandes’ career is Hall-of-Fame ready. However, it’s something that he doesn’t dwell on.

“You know what, I don’t think about it,” he said in an exclusive interview with I only think about training and focus and keeping forward. That’s what I do everyday. I think if I can keep moving forward, training left and right, then that’s the way I live.”

“I’m just trying to evolve in my game and that’s how I keep moving forward. I think it does make me who I am today and I like the challenge and I’m thankful for everything that has happened to me.”

It isn’t easy being the undisputed champ. In every feat of excellence, new challengers emerge, wanting no less than the belt that’s never left Fernandes’ mantle. Plus, with every fight, “Bibi” carries the expectations to top his last performance, and the one before it. Despite that, he’ll fight this weekend in Macau to attempt his seventh successful title defense, and he hasn’t lost any drive to keep his winning streak going.

“For me, it’s still a game. I don’t feel pressured because I love to compete. I like the challenge.”

The 36-year-old adds, “I’m not the type of guy who thinks about ‘I did this’ or ‘I did that’. I always think” ‘I have to train, I have to be focused, to be smart,’ especially on the day of the fight. About the pressure, I don’t think much of that stuff really.”

Fernandes stakes his title this time against Andrew Leone, the Bali-based American fighter who’s flown under the radar as of light.

Another win for “The Flash” would set the standard at bantamweight even higher, and would arguably make him the best fighter to set foot in the ONE Championship cage. To him, it’s not the end-all-and-be-all of his career. More than the titles, victories, and belts he’s won, Bibiano Fernandes hopes that one day, when he decides to hang up his 4-ounce gloves, his career would be defined by something far more than that.

“How would people remember me? I don’t know: Brave? A warrior? I don’t know, it doesn’t matter for me,” Fernandes said. “My job today is to compete, that’s what I do.”

“I mean, right now, I compete,” he said. “I have to wait how the future would bring me. Let’s see what the future bring for us.”

“At the end of the day, I hope I can inspire others with my life.”

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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