‘He Only Talks, I Will KO Him’: Bibiano Fernandes Sends a Strong Warning John Lineker

Published 09/22/2021, 2:54 PM EDT


Longtime reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes is fired up ahead of his return to the Circle, and it looks like he’s coming back and looking to send a message to the division he’s ruled for years – the king is back.

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The 41-year-old veteran is arguably the most dominant world champion in ONE history, and at the promotion’s highly anticipated 10th anniversary show dubbed “ONE X,” Fernandes will look to further stamp that claim. He takes on #1-ranked bantamweight contender, fellow Brazilian and knockout artist John “Hands of Stone” Lineker.

“I’m very excited to go back there and fight with John Lineker and defend my belt for the 12th time. Fighting John Lineker is good, I really will give a good fight. I’m going to give a good fight for the fans but I’m ready. I’m born ready,” Fernandes said in a recent interview with Nic Atkin of SCMP MMA.

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“I’ll commit to doing my job. I want the performance to be great that night, that’s for sure.”

The two Brazilian bantamweights have been at it on social media, jawing at each other since the former UFC standout joined ONE Championship in 2019.

Lineker has put together a solid run of three straight victories, which includes two terrific stoppages of the highly ranked Troy Worthen and former titleholder Kevin Belingon, to earn a shot at the belt.

“F*ck John Lineker. If you want to fight me, you want to get the belt, come, let’s do this but in a good way. That’s the way we do it, like if we fight in the street, no problem,” an irritated Fernandes exclaimed.

“He’s good. The only problem is he’s only talking, maybe he can knock me out but I promise I can knock him out and I can finish him and I can beat him.”

The fight may be a couple of months away, but one thing is clear. Fernandes is tired of all the banter, and he can’t wait to step back inside the Circle and do the talking with his fists. The veteran champion is confident he will be able to retain his world title in epic fashion.

“You know what, I can live with him standing up, but on the ground, I don’t think [he can survive]. He will try to survive. He [will] want to try to escape and [he will panic]. He will try to stand up. I’m comfortable fighting standing up, or on the ground,” Fernandes said.

“For me, it doesn’t matter. I have jiu-jitsu, I have wrestling, I have Muay Thai, I have boxing, I have my strength conditioning. I’m pretty confident in giving my best performance for the night.”

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Fernandes and Lineker meet at ONE X, the promotion’s special 10th anniversary show on December 5. The event will also feature a showdown between reigning ONE Featherweight World Champion Thanh Le and #3-ranked featherweight contender Garry Tonon. Also, flyweight legend Demetrious Johnson faces Muay Thai phenom Rodtang Jitmuangnon in a one-of-a-kind mixed rules hybrid Muay Thai and MMA contest.

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But first, ONE Championship returns to the Singapore Indoor Stadium this Friday night, September 24 with ONE: Revolution.

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Raj Sarkar

2505 articles

A senior boxing writer at EssentiallySports, Raj Sarkar is a mass media graduate who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in broadcast journalism. In addition to his current role, he has worked with the MMA team at EssentiallySports and has interviewed prominent fighters such as Ritu Phogat and 'The Red King' Rory MacDonald. He combined his bachelor's degree with his adoration for combat sports and has a combined 2000 plus bylines in MMA and boxing over the last two years.

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