Bibiano Fernandes (ONE FC)

Bibiano Fernandes Discusses His Bout ‘Bad Blood’ With John Lineker

ONE bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes will grace ONE Championship for the first time since Oct. 2019 when he meets John Lineker at ONE Championship: Bad Blood on Friday, Feb. 11.

Long considered one of the pound-for-pound best martial artists on the planet, Fernandes has reigned over the bantamweight division for years. But his latest challenge will bring personal dislike into the ONE Circle. The two have traded barbs back and forth, but if Fernandes is to be believed, there is no hate coming from his side.

“There’s no rivalry,” said Fernandes. “I have nothing against him. He is the one who wanted to create something that didn’t exist. I’m a professional, I’m there to fight. That was his way of earning a title shot. That’s my job. He can say whatever he wants, and when it’s time for a fight, I’ll do whatever I have to. I come forward and fight, and I hope it’s a great fight for the fans, too.”


The Brazilian star is 16-1 in his last 17 bouts, dating back to 2011. His lone slip-up was against Kevin Belingon by split decision, and he came back to win the following two bouts against the Team Lakay product. A key to his success may be his business-like approach to each opponent.

“I think it’s just another fight in my story and in my martial arts career,” said Fernandes. “John Lineker is a good fighter, I liked it when they matched this fight with him, but it’s just another fight in my career.

“I’m a professional, I’m always training and I was just waiting for the ONE Championship to make the decision. But now the fight will happen. I’m a guy who’s always motivated, always training and focused. This fight is going to be a good one for both of us. It will be a pretty cool fight. He’s an explosive guy, he has a very good hand, he kicks well, he has a good guillotine. I’m very focused and happy to do this fight with him.”

Lineker has been a fan-favorite for years with his crushing power and nonstop aggression, and he has put the pieces together since coming to ONE to ascend to title contention. “Hands Of Stone” is a perfect 3-0 on ONE’s global stage, and is enjoying back-to-back knockouts inside the Circle. It is a danger that the ONE bantamweight champion is aware of heading into the main event contest.

“I’m ready to strike with anyone,” Lineker said. “I trained a lot for this fight, brought some tough sparring partners to my camp to sharpen my striking, and I’m ready for wherever the fight unfolds. I’m definitely going to have to do some striking with him because that’s his style. I won’t be intimidated by his hands, though. Let’s go to war.”

The reigning king noted Lineker’s punching power, but did not reveal where he thinks his weaknesses lie inside of the Circle. He wants to expose those to the world on Feb. 11. But Fernandes does not expect this bout to go to the judges.

“I think this fight doesn’t go to five rounds,” Lineker predicted. “I believe that we will enter [the fight] cautiously at the beginning, analyzing what each other can offer. But he’s a strong, explosive guy, who comes forward all the time, and I like that because most of the opponents I faced were always retreating. So, it will be a cool fight for me.”

It will be a cool fight for everybody. The highly-anticipated meeting will finally happen at ONE Championship: Bad Blood and one Brazilian will reign supreme with confetti falling at their feet.

ONE Championship: Bad Blood airs live on Friday, Feb. 11, at 5 a.m. ET.