B.C. MMA champion Bibiano Fernandes to meet double title-holder

The five-foot-seven Fernandes started his pro career in his native Brazil, in Manaus, in 2004

Vancouver-based Bibiano-The-Flash-Fernandes will defend his One Championship bantamweight title against featherweight and lightweight champion Martin-The-Situ-Asian-Nguyen.

The two will face off in the main event of the “One: Iron Will” card scheduled for March 24 at the Impact Arena in Bangkok.

Nguyen (10-1-0) is bidding to hold titles at 135, 145 and 155 pounds.

Standing in his way is the 37-year-old Fernandes. The Brazilian-born 135-pounder has not lost since December 2010, winning 13 straight including 10 in a row in the One Championship.

Fernandes (21-3-0) won the bantamweight world title in 2013, defending it six times. Last time out he submitted American Andrew Leone in the first round.

The 28-year-old Nguyen was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, to refugee parents who fled Vietnam by way of Malaysia and Indonesia.

Nguyen took up martial arts at the age of 21, winning his pro debut in 2012. He is 7-1-0 in One Championship bouts, losing to Russian Marat Gafurov on short notice in 2015 for the interim featherweight title.

He then reeled off four straight first-round stoppage before knocking out Gafurov in August 2017 to claim the 145-pound crown.

Three months later, Nguyen knocked out Filipino 155-pounder Eduard Folayang to capture the lightweight title and became the first One Championship fighter to rule two divisions.

The five-foot-seven Fernandes started his pro career in his native Brazil, in Manaus, in 2004.

He had a rough childhood in Brazil. After his mother died, he lived for a time with his aunt in the Amazon.

He was 14, selling ice cream and cleaning houses, when he started learning jiu-jitsu. The mother of a friend paid for his lessons to start with. When that ran out, he cleaned the gym to pay for them.

Fernandes did it for almost four years. Then his coach told him to quit cleaning and focus on becoming a world champion. Fernandes did just that, going on to win world, Brazilian and Pan-Am jiu-jitsu titles before switching his focus on MMA.

He was at a jiu-jitsu competition in California some 12 years ago when he was invited to come train in Canada. He liked what he saw and stayed, marrying and raising a family.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Purple Day marks long journey for Gorge resident

Legislative Assembly to recognize epilepsy on Tuesday

Have your say at Oak Bay Budget Open House

Talk to council, staff on taxation, proposed new initiatives and budget process

Increasing cloudiness with a high of 12 C for today

A look ahead at this week’s forecast

West Shore RCMP better than municipal police forces, mayors say

West Shore municipalities funding more officers and civilians at local detachment

More people are hauling themselves to Greater Victoria

Victoria ranks second in U-Haul’s migration survey, behind Kingston

Mueller finds no Trump collusion, leaves obstruction open

But while Mueller fully ruled out criminal collusion, he was more circumspect on presidential obstruction of justice

Ice climbers scale Canada’s tallest waterfall on Vancouver Island

Ice climbers Chris Jensen, Will Gadd and Peter Hoang made history

Tofino woman beseeches town for nude beach

“They may enjoy a surf and then walk around naked and just be free.”

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

B.C. doctor reprimanded for accessing medical records without consent

Doctor admits to accessing records of the woman carrying his child

Video service to compete with Netflix, Amazon expected from Apple on Monday

The iPhone has long been Apple’s marquee product and main money maker, but sales are starting to decline

Kootenay city councillor starts nationwide climate caucus for municipal politicians

Climate Leadership Caucus has 57 members including seven mayors

Edmonton judge to rule on whether Omar Khadr’s sentence has expired

Canada’s top court ruled punishment handed Khadr for alleged acts committed in Afghanistan when he was 15 was to be a youth sentence

Most Read