Kwon Won Il has revealed who he hopes wins when John Lineker and Bibiano Fernandes meet inside the Circle.
ONE Championship is yet to schedule a title match between John Lineker and Bibiano Fernandes for this year. The pair were originally set to clash last month. After COVID-19 delayed their meeting, the two are expected to collide in 2022.
After the Winter Warriors II fight card, the bantamweight division got even more stacked with Kwon Won Il earning a victory over Kevin Belingon. 'Pretty Boy' is lining himself up for a title shot and would prefer to fight Lineker over Fernandes.
In an interview with The AllStar, the South Korean fighter was asked who he thinks will be the winner of the expected next championship bout in the division. Kwon Won Il based his pick on who he thinks will give him a better challenge if he is granted a title fight.
"I don’t know who is going to win but to make things more interesting, I hope Lineker wins so that Lineker and I have to fight in that circle. We’re both strikers, we are going to go toe-to-toe, so that is something that everybody will be excited for, to make that picture, I’m rooting for John Lineker so let’s go John Lineker."
There is no update yet from ONE Championship on where Kwon Won Il will enter the top five of the bantamweight rankings. Among the others that are viable candidates for the title shot are former Brave CF champion Stephen Loman and Fabricio Andrade, who both picked up impressive victories at Winter Warriors II.
With the bantamweight division waiting for the bout between Lineker and Fernandes to happen, it's possible there will be a rematch after its eventual completion.
Kwon Won Il is confident that before that happens, he will be able to sneak in and contend for the ONE Championship bantamweight title.
"Maybe I will cut the line. Maybe if Bibiano should be up for an instant rematch, maybe I will cut the line and I will be the next and fight John Lineker. Or maybe I will just try Bibiano, it doesn’t matter. I’m very good in cutting lines, even in real life. When people are lining up for so long, I’m very good in cutting lines. Maybe I can do that in ONE Championship."
Catch Kwon Won Ill's full interview with The AllStar below:
Kwon Won Il sees the rise of Korean fighters in ONE Championship
A number of Korean fighters have been making noise in ONE Championship and have been fast rising in their respective divisions. Joining Kwon Won Il in Asia's premier MMA promotion are Yoon Chang Min, Dae Sung Park, Dae Hwan Kim and Kim Jae Woong.
Won Il believes that South Korean fighters will be able to match what the Philippine-based stable Team Lakay has achieved in ONE Championship.
"I definitely believe that it is the Korean time now. Korean athletes, they are doing so well and I really hope all the Korean athletes really do well, nothing but the best. I just hope they go out there, they win, they become champions, they achieve their goals and I just believe all of us Korean athletes do well."
Won II will be hoping to lead the Korean charge in 2022, a surge he'll hope will end with ONE gold wrapped around his waist.