Bibiano Fernandes faces a mammoth task at ONE: Lights Out next Friday, March 11. However, the ONE bantamweight world champion is confident that he'll successfully defend his throne against fellow Brazilian John ‘Hands of Stone’ Lineker.
The two warriors have been locked in a heated war of words ahead of their world title tussle. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt used his Instagram page to take another swipe at the knockout specialist, reminding him who is on top of their stacked weight class.
“I am the King of this Division,” read 'The Flash's post.
Bibiano Fernandes’ message may be short, but it showcases the confidence he'll be bringing into the Circle when he puts his title on the line against ‘Hands of Stone’, who has stormed through all his tests on the global stage so far.
No athlete has responded to Lineker’s stinging punches in ONE. The former UFC athlete has amassed a 3-0 run, picking up two highlight-reel finishes over Troy Worthen and Kevin Belingon alongside a decision win over Muin Gafurov in his debut.
Those whitewash wins, coupled with Belingon and Worthen’s dip in form, made him a clear contender to Bibiano Fernandes’ throne.
Bibiano Fernandes, on the other hand, will be making his first appearance since his victorious outing against Belingon at ONE: Century Part II in late 2019.
The world champion has been waiting for quite a while to return to the Circle. Now that the opportunity has arrived, he's fully loaded and confident that he can extend his run as the promotion’s most successful world champion at ONE: Lights Out on March 11.
Bibiano Fernandes’ ranked competitors in the bantamweight division
The bantamweight division’s ranked spots have undergone a major shift largely thanks to Lineker, Kwon Won Il, Stephen Loman and Fabricio Andrade’s form.
Lineker sits at the top of the pile, followed by Kwon at No. 2. The South Korean superstar exploded into the rankings following three consecutive finishes in ONE.
At No. 3 is Team Lakay’s Loman, the promotional newcomer who unsettled former ranked contender Yusup Saadulaev in his debut. Brazilian striking phenom Andrade is enjoying a blistering run of form and takes the fourth slot on the list.
Former ONE bantamweight world champion Belingon finds himself at No. 5 after suffering four defeats on the global stage.