Looking back on his ONE Championship featherweight title match versus Kevin Belingon this past March, Bibano Fernandes is disappointed with the outcome of the bout even though he won.
Shortly into the third round of the bout, Belingon was disqualified for using illegal strikes on Fernandes, thus awarding him the win and the featherweight title in the process.
“That fight I was very disappointed,” Fernandes told MMAWeekly.com. “Not for me, but for the fans and the corporation, too. I believe they were all supposed to get a good fight, and because I cannot control the blows to the back of my head I cannot (give them a good fight).
“That was supposed to be a great fight, but it did not go through. It was no good fight at all because he throws the elbow. I was very disappointed the fight goes that way.”
Up until the point of the illegal strikes, Fernandes feels like he was winning the fight, making the outcome even more disappointing as he was not the one to determine how the bout ended.
“I was pretty good in the fight,” said Fernandes. “I knocked him down, I take him down. He tried coming and going on me (but) I took him again. I took his back. I think I was good that fight.
“That night was my night, but I cannot control his reaction. I cannot control him throwing the elbow. If he (had) not thrown the elbow, it would have been a completely different outcome and we wouldn’t be talking about the fight now.”
On Sunday in Tokyo, Fernandes (23-4) will face Belingon (20-6) for a fourth time when the two meet in the bantamweight title co-main event of ONE: Century – Part 2, which is set to be broadcast live on TNT in the United States.
“I’m happy to fight more than three times,” Fernandes said. “I come from Jiu-Jitsu, so in Jiu-Jitsu you can compete with a guy maybe seven times if you’re really good. That’s the mentality I have. I just have to make sure my mind is good and make sure my body is good and let’s do it.
“I can look back (on our previous fights), but right now at this moment it’s a new fight. It’s a new fight. It’s a new Bibi. For sure (Belingon is) going to try to do something, but for sure when I step in the cage you’re going to see a new Bibiano.”
When it comes to the future, Fernandes is unsure where his road could lead to in 2020. It all depends on how he feels at any given time. What he is sure about is what’s in front of him, and that’s defending his featherweight title versus Bellington on October 13.
“How I feel, how my body feels, how the fight goes, you never know if it’s going to be a quick fight or a 25-minute fight,” said Fernandes. “I don’t know how I’m going to handle it. It’s everything about how I feel.
“If my body is not best, if my mind is not there, I don’t have to go back to fighting anymore. But my mind is still good and body is still good. There are so many things that can happen, but right now the focus is Kevin and that is the most important thing right now.”
Bibiano Fernandes ONE: Century pre-fight interview
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