Bibiano Fernandes Shoots Down Any Talk Of Grand Prix Participation

ONE Championship put on three successful Grand Prix tournaments in 2019. With the finals of the Featherweight Kickboxing, Flyweight and Lightweight Grands Prix going down last October 13 in Japan, for their 100th event, dubbed as ONE: Century.

At the conclusion of the tournaments, we saw Giorgio Petrosyan, Demetrious Johnson and ONE Lightweight Champion Christian Lee, crowned the three Grand Prix winners.

Despite his good friend and teammate Johnson, winning the Flyweight Grand Prix, ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano Fernandes, doesn’t see himself participating in such a tournament.

Speaking to MMA Fighting, the Brazilian champion revealed his preferred choice of competition, rather than a GP.

“In my situation today, I just can’t, I have no interest in fighting in a grand prix. Unless it’s a really good GP and good money, then maybe I’d do it. But to fight just to fight, no, I won’t do it. I’d much rather defend my belt, or do a superfight.”

With his wealthy experience in combat sports, Bibiano certainly knows how a Grand Prix takes a toll in an athlete’s body, thus pointing out other factors that might hinder him to compete.

“It’s just a lot of fights. You have to fight all the time. I know how to win a GP, but it’s just too much training – a whole other mindset. To win a tournament, you have to give everything you got, and I have a lot of things to take care of today. I have family, kids, things to take care of, so it’s a bit harder. Leave that for the kids to fight,” Fernandes said.

After two gruelling matches against Kevin Belingon this year that ended his rivalry with the Filipino slugger, the ‘Flash’ will get as much needed rest to recuperate his body and compete again next year.

“Our body is like a car, you have to change the oil, change tires and add fuel, or it breaks. The human body is the same thing. We have to slow down a bit and let our bodies rest, and then we can speed up again.”

The undisputed Bantamweight champion though knows that he has a target on his back, especially against the promotion’s new-comer John Lineker, who won in his debut last Friday over Muin Gafurov in Jakarta, Indonesia, at ONE: Dawn of Valor.

“I think we have to wait and see what happens now, ONE didn’t give Demetrious Johnson a shot at the [flyweight] title right away; they made him go through a GP first, so they will prepare [Lineker] to fight me like they did with DJ. I don’t think they’ll do a GP, but they will have their eyes on him,” ended Fernandes.


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