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Fernandes preserves record

MACAU, China—Defending ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes relies on experience and ring savvy to preserve his long unbeaten record in ONE Championship.

In his latest outing Fernandes made quick work of Andrew Leone, submitting the American challenger with a rear-naked choke in the first frame of the much-awaited championship clash last weekend. 

It was the beginning of the end for Leone when Fernandes hammered a knee to the midsection that slumped his opponent to the mat. The 37-year-old Brazilian authored the final sequence by latching on the match-ending submission, keeping the prestigious gold-plated strap securely fastened around his waist. 

With the impressive victory over Leone, Fernandes has set an unprecedented ONE Championship record of seven successful title defenses, remaining unbeaten in the promotion.

“I feel great. I feel great, thank you Macao for having me. Thank you for my family in Canada and my family in Brazil who are watching me right now. I am here to stay. I welcome all challenges. I want to say thank you to Chatri (Sityodtong) and Matt Hume. I’m happy with ONE Championship. I want to continue fighting. Whoever I have to fight, I will accept. I am always ready!” said Fernandes.

Unbeaten Bibiano Fernandez (top) pounds Andrew Leone en route to a decisive victory. ONE Championship

In the co-main event, Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes of Brazil defeated Kairat Akhmetov of Kazakhstan via five-round unanimous decision to become the sole owner of the ONE Flyweight World Championship. Moraes, who previously held the interim title, controlled the majority of the action with his grappling while defending champion Akhmetov tried his best to fend off the Brazilian’s advances with his wrestling. On the feet, Moraes got the better of the exchanges and landed the harder blows. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Moraes, who unifies the flyweight titles to become the undisputed king of the division.

Hard-hitting Russian featherweight Timofey Nastyukhin and former world title challenger Koji “The Commander” Ando of Japan figured in an incredibly tactical three-round matchup, with Nastyukhin coming away with a well-earned unanimous decision victory. 

After Ando nullified most of the action using his feints and pacing, Nastyukhin turned up the pressure in the second half of the contest, consistently landing the more telling blows. Both competitors unloaded their best offense in the final minute of the third round. All three judges saw the bout in favor of Nastyukhin.

Top lightweight contender Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai made quick work of India’s Rajinder Singh Meena, winning by knockout just moments into a scheduled three-round bout. The Bangkok Fight Lab mainstay authored one of his quickest finishes yet, landing a right knee flush to Meena’s head from the clinch. Referee Olivier Coste wasted no time in calling a halt to the contest once he realized Meena was completely out of it. The end came officially at 29 seconds of round number one, and is the fastest finish of Wiratchai’s career.

Undefeated Japanese veteran Hayato Suzuki made a successful ONE Championship promotional debut, thwarting former title challenger Joshua Pacio of the Philippines to win by first round submission. After Pacio missed slightly on a spinning back kick attempt, Suzuki capitalized by taking his back and dragging the Filipino to the ground. Although Pacio valiantly fought off Suzuki’s submission attempts, it was only a matter of time before the bout-ending sequence played out. In the end, Suzuki notched his first victory in the ONE Championship cage via rear naked choke, forcing the younger Pacio to tap out.

Topics: Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes , ONE Championship , Andrew Leone
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