Hot on the heels of the announcement that ONE FC had signed former DREAM lightweight champion Shinya Aoki, it’s now emerged that they’ll also clinched a deal with DREAM’s former bantamweight and featherweight title holder Bibiano Fernandes.
Fernandes had originally looked to be en-route to the UFC after the collapse of DREAM, with the promotion even going as far as to announce his first fight as being at UFC 149, but the fighter himself then moved to deny that was the case, indicating that the contract they had offered him wasn’t good enough.
So, Fernandes has now opted to put pen to paper on a deal with the burgeoning Asian promotion ONE FC and is now set to join Aoki in making his debut on their next show in August over in the Philippeans.
It’s a bold move by the 32 year-old to snub the UFC in favor of an up and coming organization, but ONE FC have strong backing and should be around for some time to come, so financially it might make sense for now, though if he had been a success in the UFC he could have ended up earning more in the longer term while also gaining more recognition and facing a better level of competition.
It’s undoubtedly a good bit of business for ONE FC though and shows that they are looking to be a major force in the MMA world and not just a backwater for second-rate and ‘novelty’ fighters.