Shortly after John Lineker announced that he has signed with ONE Championship, he set his sights on two of the Singapore-based promotion’s brightest shining stars: flyweight contender Demetrious Johnson and bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes.
“He’s an excellent athlete, a great fighter, but I’m coming,” Lineker told MMA Fighting of the bantamweight champ Fernandes. “I want to do my best in there and put on a show for the fans. Bibiano is a great athlete, has a good ground game and heavy hands, but I’m going there to give them a show.”
Speaking to BJPenn.com on Tuesday afternoon, Bibiano Fernandes discussed Lineker’s migration to ONE Championship. While Fernandes is open to a fight with the former UFC contender down the road, he’s cognizant of the fact that other UFC veterans like Eddie Alvarez and Sage Northcutt have experienced great adversity in their ONE Championship debuts. Based on that fact, he’s interested in seeing how Lineker does in ONE Championship before welcoming a title defense against him.
“If he’s in my weight class, of course,” Fernandes said of a potential fight with Lineker. “It doesn’t matter who it is, I’ll fight. I don’t care. The thing about this guy coming from the UFC to ONE Championship is it’s different. Asia is different. A lot of guys coming from the UFC to ONE Championship think it’s going to be easy, but I’m sorry, it’s not. They have a lot of tough guys [in ONE], it’s not going to be easy. I want to see how he’ll do with the guys there, and for sure in the future, we’ll see what happens.
“We don’t know [what will happen]. The thing is, this guy’s tough. This guy’s very tough. You don’t know, but I want to see how he does there, fighting in ONE. It’s going to be interesting. A lot of people think ‘Oh I’ll go fight for ONE’ but it’s not easy, that’s for sure.”
While Bibiano Fernandes isn’t sure what the future holds for John Lineker in ONE Championship, he believes it’s a good thing for all parties involved that the UFC veteran made the jump.
“It’s good for him, it’s good for ONE, it’s good for everybody.”
Fernandes is set to return to action at ONE: Century this October in Tokyo, where he will look to defend his title opposite long-time rival Kevin Belingon.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/9/2019.