In December of last year, ONE Championship introduced a new weigh-in protocol, which will make fighters compete at their “walking-weight.” The first ONE card of the year takes place on January 23 and will be the first time the new weigh-in protocol is being utilized. In the main event, bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes steps inside the ONE cage against Filipino sensation Kevin Belingon.
One would think that fighters would be worried about the new weigh-in procedures, however “The Flash” is feeling much ‘less stressed’ than normal leading up to this fight and he is interested to see what his performance will be like because of it.
“It has not affected me to this point,” Fernandes told MMASucka.com. “It’s less stressful I guess because I don’t need to worry about my diet as much. Now we will see how it affects my performance.”
With ONE leading the way in weight cutting standards at this point, them and many others are hoping the other promotions around the world will follow in their footsteps. Fernandes is hoping the same thing, as it would be hard to compare himself against fighters in his same weight class if they are able to cut weight and he is not.
“I’m fine with my weight for now. It would be nice if every organization has the same standards for weight Because how can I compare myself to other champs in my weight class.”
Belingon is a very well rounded opponent and one that has an arsenal that could keep Fernandes guessing. Some would be scared of someone with such a well versed game, but the 35-year-old is extremely excited about getting in there with someone who can test his skills.
“Kevin is a great athlete. I think he is a good match for me,” Fernandes said. “He has powerful hands and nice kick. I’m excited for the fight!”
Fernandes has fought in front of the ONE Championship fans seven times, dating back to 2012. The Brazilian who trains in British Columbia, Canada, as well as at AMC Pankration with Matt Hume and Demetrious Johnson captured the ONE interim title at ONE FC 9 against Koetsu Okazaki and went on to unify the title against Soo Chul Kim at ONE FC 11. Since earning champion status, Fernandes has defended his belt four times and continues to look for game challengers.
ONE Championship 36: Dynasty of Champions goes down on January 23 from the Changsha Stadium in Changsha, Hunan, China and you can catch all the action on the ONE Championship website.