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Friday, May 17, 2013
He will be trying to add yet another belt to his collection, as he takes on former Shooto champion Koetsu Okazaki of Japan for the ONE FC interim bantamweight title on Friday, May 31. This fight will be part of the ONE FC: Rise to Power card at the 20,000-seat SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, the Philippines.
ONE FC: Rise to Power will be televised live on Star Sports in Asia and as an online pay-per-view at http://www.onefc.livesport.tv.
The current ONE FC bantamweight champion, Soo Chul Kim of Korea, is currently recovering from a shoulder injury and is unavailable to fight.
We spoke with Bibiano Fernandes by phone Wednesday about this fight, how his career is going, and his plans.
Bibiano Fernandes is a very busy man, While he lives and trains in the Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada area, he often also travels to the Seattle, Washington, USA area to train at Matt Hume's AMC Pankration gym. In addition, while he is originally from Brazil, he has fought exclusively in Asia since 2009.
When he signed with ONE FC last year rather than with UFC, he demonstrated how ONE FC has become not only the largest MMA organization in Asia, but also a major player in the world. And he has no regrets about his choice.
"I'm very happy to fight for ONE FC," he said in this interview. "For me, I make a good choice. For me, for my family, I make the best choice." Citing the growth of the organization and the people running it, he summed up his experience with ONE FC clearly and succinctly: "Everything's good."
But he also does not anticipate an easy fight against the veteran Koetsu Okazaki. Bibiano has seen video of his fights and noted that he has "good hands" and "good jiu-jitsu." So while Bibiano is known mainly for his grappling and submission skills, he expects that this fight may see a diversity of technique.
We also discussed fighting in front of the enthusiastic fans in the Philippines, whether or not there will be any effect on his opponent who is fighting outside Japan for the first time, and more.
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