ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano Fernandes will meet top-ranked contender John Lineker in the evening’s co-main event. The highly-anticipated collision of Brazilian stars was initially slated for ONE: Bad Blood, but Lineker was removed due to COVID health and safety protocols.
Bibiano Fernandes ‘Not Worried’ About Lineker’s Striking
The brief setback to the bout was a disappointment to the reigning king, but he says it will not have a big effect on the outcome.
“What he had to train, he has already trained. What I had to train, I have already trained. We are prepared for the fight. What happens now will be fate. In my opinion, the extra time now won’t make a difference to anyone,” said Fernandes.
“I’m a professional athlete. I’ve been doing this since I was 14. There are things that are out of my control, but I am a warrior. I am prepared mentally and physically for whatever comes and goes.”
“I went back to my camp, and I’m training hard to do a good job on the day of the fight. Mentally I got even stronger. I’m very well prepared and focused on my goal, which is victory.”
The Canadian resident has been back at his gym, training for his most formidable challenge to date.
Lineker has been on a tear since joining ONE. His crushing power has been on display with brutal body blows and highlight-reel knockouts.
But none of that is a surprise to Fernandes.
“He has a very good hand. He likes to play the right hand and the hook, which he does very well. This is his game,” said the ONE Bantamweight World Champion.
“I respect John Lineker, but I’m ready to defend my belt one more time. I confess that I’m not thinking much about Lineker, but what I’m going to do in the fight against John Lineker.”
Although he respects the power of Lineker, Fernandes does not view his striking favorably.
“The Flash” believes his preparation will keep him out of danger en route to another successful title defense.
“I don’t think he has a dangerous striking. He has only good punches,” said Fernandes.
“I saw a lot of his fights, I studied his game with my coaches, and we saw that he has some really good hooks. He’s a short guy, which in my opinion, helps him throw those punches. But I’m not worried about his striking or his skills. I’m very focused, and I know I’m going to go through the Linker. I know I will win this fight.”
The 41-year-old believes he holds a significant edge on the ground but does not expect Lineker to try and compete with him on the canvas. He is calm and focused to add another huge victory to his incredible legacy.
Regardless of where the match takes place, Fernandes is predicting a finish.
“He’s not a very good guy on the ground. He survives in the ground fight. When someone takes him down, he always tries to get up. He is taken down, goes to the corner of the cage, and tries to get up. He won’t do Jiu-Jitsu with me. If he does, I have no doubt that I will finish him,” said Fernandes.
“I imagine I’ll submit him or knock him out. This is what I imagine when I close my eyes.”
ONE: Lights Out airs live and free on ONE’s YouTube channel and the ONE Super App on Friday, March 11, at 7:30 a.m. EST/4:30 a.m. PST.