Bibiano Fernandes Confirms Offer From ONE FC, Says It’s “Better Deal” Than UFC’s
Fighter Credits Zuffa Promotion But Says Needs of Family Must Come First
By Kelsey Mowatt
Over the last little while Bibiano Fernandes has seen multiple reports stating that not only had he signed to make his Octagon debut at UFC 149, but that more recently, he had been forced to withdraw from the reported bout due to injury. According to the fighter, however, neither ever occurred.
Speaking to Fernandes today from Manaus, Brazil, the DREAM Bantamweight Champion confirmed that a recent and widely cited Facebook post had been authored by him, which relayed that he never signed the UFC offer.
“I was surprised, for sure, I am,” Fernandes told FCF, while discussing his reaction after he read reports that he had signed with the UFC. “I didn’t understand what was going on. My real surprise was when I heard I was injured. I was more surprised to hear that. The contract, okay, no problem, but when I heard I was injured I was very surprised.”
In keeping with his Facebook comments, Fernandes (11-3) was quick to credit the UFC for its popularity and influence, and confirmed that he decided to not join the world’s largest promotion because of the terms that were offered.
While Fernandes would not discuss the financial details of the contract, he did elaborate on why he made his decision, and responded to critics who may be questioning whether it was the right one.
“I think some of these people don’t have mouths to feed and people to take care of at home,” said Fernandes, while discussing the argument that he could be sacrificing large, long term financial gains by not signing with the UFC. “These people maybe don’t have a wife or three kids at home….I’m sorry, I have two kids and one more coming, and I’m a father, and some people don’t see that side.”
“I have to pay my coaches, my training partners, and at the end of the month, I still have to pay for my house, and bring home food,” Fernandes added.
Although the accomplished Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor has elected to not sign with the UFC, Fernandes remains hopeful that at some point, he could end up fighting for the organization.
“The UFC is the best organization in the world,” Fernandes added. “For sure, one day I want to go fight there, but I’m sorry, I have family and I have kids…I have to care of myself, my friends and my family, and that’s me.”
Fernandes also confirmed that rising Asian promotion ONE FC has offered him a contract, as was reported earlier by MMA Fighting, but that he has not signed any deal as of yet. The 32 year-old did not want to discuss the financial terms of the contract, but added that it was “a better deal” and that he is interested in the offer.
When reports initially surfaced stating that Fernandes was headed to the UFC, it appeared be the latest chapter in a series of stories that questioned the stability of DREAM. Despite the organization’s uncertain future, Fernandes continued to heap praise on the promotion, where he won the featherweight and bantamweight title.
“I’m not very hopeful for DREAM but I am very thankful,” said Fernandes. “DREAM helped me a lot. I don’t have anything bad to say about DREAM. DREAM thank you so much for what you did for me.”
“For sure I want to see DREAM keep going and I would love to go there and fight,” Fernandes added. “Hopefully someday it will be going well.”