Just this past Thursday, ONE Championship President and CEO, Chatri Sityodtong has announced three big-time match-ups that sent shockwaves in the MMA community for the 10th year anniversary event of the promotion this December 5.
One of those three fights is the ONE Bantamweight Championship encounter between Brazilian compatriots Bibiano Fernandes, the reigning champion, and John Lineker, the number-one ranked contender.
After a long layoff and not seeing action for over two years, the Bantamweight king, Bibiano Fernandes will finally return inside the circle to defend his throne for the 9th time since capturing and unifying the title in 2013.
Fernandes is arguably the most dominant champion that the promotion has seen in its history as he racked up an impressive 12 wins against 1 loss in his tenure with the Singapore-based organization, with Kevin Belingon owning that lone defeat of Fernandes after a close split decision win in their second meeting in 2018.
Just eleven months after that tight decision loss, ‘The Flash’ only needed two rounds to submit Belingon and officially reclaim his glory in their fourth meeting (the trilogy fight between them ended in a disqualification win for Fernandes after receiving illegal blows from Kevin).
Standing in Bibiano’s way is John Lineker who is still undefeated under the ONE Championship banner since arriving in October of 2019 where he had the perfect debut by defeating Muin Gafurov via unanimous decision.
The “Hands of Stone” was pitted against Kevin Belingon in his second match last October 2020 and TKO’ed the former champion in just two rounds. Then, seven months later, the 31-year old sealed his title shot after knocking out Troy Worthen in ONE on TNT 3 in the very first round of the fight.
Before arriving in Asia to compete, Lineker was one of the top contenders in the UFC, accumulating a spectacular record of 12 wins and only 4 losses in his stint there from 2012 to 2019 before he was released. Included in John’s win resume are the names of Rob Font, John Dodson, and Marlon Vera.
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