B.C. MMA champion Bibiano Fernandes to meet double title-holder

The five-foot-seven Fernandes started his pro career in his native Brazil, in Manaus, in 2004

Vancouver-based Bibiano-The-Flash-Fernandes will defend his One Championship bantamweight title against featherweight and lightweight champion Martin-The-Situ-Asian-Nguyen.

The two will face off in the main event of the “One: Iron Will” card scheduled for March 24 at the Impact Arena in Bangkok.

Nguyen (10-1-0) is bidding to hold titles at 135, 145 and 155 pounds.

Standing in his way is the 37-year-old Fernandes. The Brazilian-born 135-pounder has not lost since December 2010, winning 13 straight including 10 in a row in the One Championship.

Fernandes (21-3-0) won the bantamweight world title in 2013, defending it six times. Last time out he submitted American Andrew Leone in the first round.

The 28-year-old Nguyen was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, to refugee parents who fled Vietnam by way of Malaysia and Indonesia.

Nguyen took up martial arts at the age of 21, winning his pro debut in 2012. He is 7-1-0 in One Championship bouts, losing to Russian Marat Gafurov on short notice in 2015 for the interim featherweight title.

He then reeled off four straight first-round stoppage before knocking out Gafurov in August 2017 to claim the 145-pound crown.

Three months later, Nguyen knocked out Filipino 155-pounder Eduard Folayang to capture the lightweight title and became the first One Championship fighter to rule two divisions.

The five-foot-seven Fernandes started his pro career in his native Brazil, in Manaus, in 2004.

He had a rough childhood in Brazil. After his mother died, he lived for a time with his aunt in the Amazon.

He was 14, selling ice cream and cleaning houses, when he started learning jiu-jitsu. The mother of a friend paid for his lessons to start with. When that ran out, he cleaned the gym to pay for them.

Fernandes did it for almost four years. Then his coach told him to quit cleaning and focus on becoming a world champion. Fernandes did just that, going on to win world, Brazilian and Pan-Am jiu-jitsu titles before switching his focus on MMA.

He was at a jiu-jitsu competition in California some 12 years ago when he was invited to come train in Canada. He liked what he saw and stayed, marrying and raising a family.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Metro gas prices hit 155.7 cents a litre and higher

Lower Mainland could see 1.60 cents by April

BREAKING: Patient airlifted from two-vehicle crash in Langley Wednesday morning

Fraser Highway at 232nd Street is closed in both directions. People are asked to find another route.

Proposed slaughterhouse in South Langley evokes considerable ire

Large delegation of Langley residents came out to oppose a poultry abattoir.

Cloverleaf Preschool must find new home after 26 years in Cloverdale community

Christ the Redeemer Church terminated tenancy, finding 86-year-old Bell Hall unsafe

LETTER: Lack of tree protection for Langley short-sighted but expected

One Langley letter writer calls Township council’s inaction on a tree protection bylaw disappointing.

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

B.C.-pioneered wood construction on a roll internationally

Washington state considers mandatory engineered wood for public buildings

Cops say gun-toting robbers used fake police lights to pull over victims

Information wanted on North Shuswap robbery, police impersonation, burnt vehicle, motorhome theft.

BCHL Today: Surrey Eagles and Powell River Kings close to advancing

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Plane filled with smoke lands at Nanaimo Airport

WestJet flight came in from Vancouver

VSO to perform ‘Star Wars’ music while 1977 movie plays on big screen

Three shows for the classic at iconic Orpheum Theatre this summer

B.C. emergency alert system being tested Wednesday

Alarm tone and message will play on TV and radio

BC Conservatives pumped by poll results

Surge in popularity has BC party picturing elected representatives in Victoria

5 to start your day

A serious crash in Langley, Surrey man wanted in connection to vicious assault and more

Most Read