This weekend, in the main event of ONE: IRON WILL, bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes will attempt to defend his title against Martin Nguyen – who happens to own the ONE lightweight and featherweight belts.
While the two-division champion Nguyen has a significant amount of hype behind him – and rightly so – Fernandes doesn’t feel like he presents any challenges he hasn’t dealt with before.
Fernandes gave his take on the surging two-division champ on the latest episode of BJ Penn Radio. While he was reluctant to discredit his foe’s ability, he hasn’t been that impressed by his accomplishments thus far.
“I’m going to try to explain this for you,” Fernandes said. “When he beat [former featherweight champion Marat Gafurov], good. Gafurov is getting tired, Gafurov is bigger, he lost more weight to fight in the 145 weight class. He catches Gafurov, Gafurov is getting lazy, he knocks out Gafurov.”
“Now I think about the second fight [for the 155-pound title], he fought Eduard Folayang,” Fernandes continued. “When you watch this fight, Martin TKO’d Eduard Folayang, but why? [Folayang] has [many] TKO losses, any punch can drop him.”
Needless to say, Fernandes believes he’ll be able to deal with everything that Nguyen brings to the table.
“My friend, this guy is coming and fighting me, right now in my weight class,” he said. “I feel strong, I feel energetic. Every time I go inside the cage, I prove something, and now he’s fighting me. When you watch his fights, he’s good, but I’ve faced guys that are better. And another thing I will tell you. He can beat me, I don’t think it’s impossible. But I will tell you, I will give him hell for that.”
Do you think Bibiano Fernandes can best Martin Nguyen this weekend?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/23/2018.