Former Champ Bibiano Fernandes Says He’s Returning to DREAM in September
By Kelsey Mowatt
It’s been over six month since Bibiano Fernandes lost the DREAM featherweight title to Hiroyuki Takaya, and after weeks of speculation as to when the highly regarded fighter would return to action, the veteran’s informed FCF that he’ll be fighting in September.
“My manager told me that I’m going to fight September 25th,” said Fernandes, “I’m waiting to see what opponent DREAM gives me, but they say I’m going to be fighting.”
While Fernandes has often stated that due to his responsibilities as a jiu-jitsu instructor and father he is content to fight only a couple of times annually, the 31 year-old-veteran seems anxious to return and begin reasserting his presence. The loss to Takaya ended a seven fight win streak for Fernandes, which included victories over notable names like Joachim Hansen, Masakazu Imanari, Takaya, and Bellator champion Joe Warren.
“Yes, I’m very excited to fight again,” Fernandes stated. “I believe I’ve improved; I believe that I’m better. I think I’ve also improved something inside of me. I think because of my last loss I really want to fight now and I’m excited to come back.”
While Fernandes doesn’t know at this juncture who he will be facing, the Brazilian contends that in the end, it doesn’t really matter.
“You know what? Today it doesn’t matter who they give me,” said Fernandes, who has won five world BJJ championships during his career. “I’ll go to Japan and fight anyone. Today I can fight stand-up, today I can fight on the ground, so it doesn’t matter.”
“With DREAM they usually wait until the last second and say ‘go fight this guy,’” Fernandes added. “I think it may be a big Japanese guy, but I don’t know.”
One would think that DREAM might explore promoting a rubber match between Takaya and Fernandes at some juncture, if Takaya is able to defend his title against Kazayuki Miyata on July 16th. Of course, the promotion will likely wait to see if Fernandes emerges victorious in his next bout, before any final decisions regarding a possible third fight with Takaya are made. Another possibility is that Fernandes could drop down to compete at bantamweight, however, the fighter’s manager Bill Mahood told FCF that Fernandes prefers to compete at DREAM’s featherweight limit of 138lbs.
“I have to keep things going my way,” said Fernandes while discussing the prospect of a rubber match with Takaya. “It doesn’t matter who they give me, I’ll go do my best. If they want to give me Takaya, please give me, but I don’t want to run and say ‘okay give me, give me;’ that’s not me.”
By the time Fernandes competes at the end of September, he will have gone nearly ten months without fighting. As a result, he admits he is interested in competing one more time for DREAM before the year is up.
“If I win on September 25th for sure I’ll go fight on New Year’s in Japan,” said Fernandes, who has two fights left on his current contract with DREAM. “For this moment I just think about my next fight; I’m going to give everything I have.”