Bibiano Fernandes: Why I didn’t sign with UFC
In early June it was reported that Brazilian Bantamweight Bibiano Fernandes, DREAM champion before the event’s demise, had signed with the UFC. Weeks later a number of MMA news sites reported that Fernandes suffered an undisclosed injury and would not make his promotional debut July 21 in Calgary, Alberta, at UFC 149 against Roland Delorme, as previously announced.
Then Fernandes posted on his Facebook page that he never signed with the UFC, and was weighing offers from both the UFC and Asia’s ONE FC.
ONE FC recently announced that Fernades has officially signed with the Asia based promotion.
In an interview with Tatame, Fernandes explains why he chose not the sign with the world’s dominant MMA organization.
Guilherme Cruz: What are the expectations for your One FC debut?
Bibiano Fernandes: I’ve fought all my life in Japan. Most of my fans live there. I guess One FC is just an extension of Dream. It’s not Dream, but the guys there have been helping one another at One FC. If you really look at it, you’ll see the guys that used to work on Dream here.
GC: Do you think One FC will be a huge success in the Asian market?
BF: It’s an event that needs to be watched, needs to grow too because that way the competition comes. UFC’s going to win it all. There’s no competition, none whatsoever. Even at my weight class, and I hope they hire good fighters in other classes too, but in all light divisions so things are balanced.
GC: There was a surprise when UFC announced you signed in for the Canada event but days latter it was announced they let you go. Days later you said you didn’t even sign that same contract. What really happened?
BF: Apart from family, it’d be a great opportunity for Bibiano, but when you put the family in the picture it’s not worth it. I don’t fight for me. I have people who rely on me. I’ve built what I had to build in MMA. It can be many people’s dream to fight in the UFC, but it ain’t mine. It’s all business to me. I’ve dreamed about being a champion, I earned three belts: one in Canada and two in Japan. If you have a dream, keep dreaming. If you want to fight, keep on trying. But this I’ll tell you: worship yourself otherwise nobody else will. And it’s not only on the fighting business, but in everything in life. People use you, use you, use you and then through you away like garbage.
GC: MMA is getting big in Brazil. Do you want to fight here?
BF: I dream on fighting in Brazil, of course. I want that. I’m an athlete and I like to compete. If it was at my hometown, Manaus, it would be even better. Fighting in front of my family and friends would be amazing but maybe in the future. We carry on and follow God’s plan.