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Bibiano Fernandes: ONE, future in sport and successful academy

MMA star, black-belt analyzes his moment and shows enthusiasm for his academy in Canada

Bibiano Fernandes’ campaign at ONE lasted more than a decade with records and titles. Image: Asian MMA

With merit to belong to the martial arts hall of fame, Bibiano Fernandes is the type of fighter who made the most of all available resources on his successful path. 5th degree black-belt in Jiu-Jitsu, multiple times IBJJF Worlds and PanAms champion, the athlete from Manaus, Amazonas, followed a natural course for many athletes after his triumph in Gentle Art: the transition to MMA.

Since then, Bibiano Fernandes has continued to pave a path of good results, contributing with legendary performances in events such as K-1, Dream and ONE Championship. At Dream, Bibiano was champion of two divisions, featherweight and bantamweight. His campaign in ONE Championship, long-lasting and very successful, gave him records such as 11 victories in title fights in the bantamweight division. In December 2023, the contract renewal with ONE Championship did not happen, marking the end of a partnership that lasted 11 years.

In the announcement of his departure from the organization, there was no room for regret, as Bibiano knows that he made the best of this phase of his career. “When ONE Championship sent the letter to me I wasn’t sad, I thought that now I would have more time to do different things in life. So, I accept it and I will continue moving forward.”, he reflects, excited about the possibilities of the present.

Leading a Jiu-Jitsu academy in Canada is one of Bibiano Fernandes’ new occupations

Flash Academy, a martial arts academy run by him in Canada, is one of Bibiano’s new occupations. His vast background, MMA and Jiu-Jitsu champion, is attractive to new students.

“In two months I reached a very high number of students. It’s a different phase for me, now I have to take care of my students, they are like my children now. I need to take care, prevent them from getting hurt, identify those who are more aggressive and ask them to go easy on white-belts. This type of conduct is necessary, especially here in Canada, a cold country. So, it’s easier to get injured. It’s a good phase, which I’m enjoying, teaching the techniques to students and watching them reproduce. I’ve also taken them to championships, many were champions, some didn’t win, but I encouraged them to continue training. It’s like life, we are here to evolve and learn.”, he says in an interview with the VF Comunica team, with inspiration from a dedicated professor.

The job of Jiu-Jitsu professor is an activity that Bibiano carries out with enthusiasm. Image: @bibianofernandes

With an important visit scheduled for February 2024, Flash Academy will start the 2024 season on the right foot. André Galvão, the Jiu-Jitsu idol responsible for Atos, will give a seminar at the gym in February. The variety of ways of learning, about Jiu-Jitsu itself and business, raises the level of expectation.

“André Galvão is an excellent athlete. I’ve known him since master Osvaldo Alves’ time, we slept there on the mat and trained a lot when he was still a blue-belt. He’s a guy who knows a lot about grappling and Jiu-Jitsu. Not to mention the fact that he also has a gym, this is very important for exchanging information. So, André Galvão coming here at Flash Academy will be very good not only for my students, but for everyone who wants to understand more about business. André Galvão has a lot of experience to offer.”, he analyzes.

Retirement may have been mentioned, but it is not planned for now

Since new fights at ONE will no longer happen. The question remains regarding new challenges as a fighter or the announcement of a possible retirement. According to Bibiano, the slightest mention of the end point in his career was enough for him to receive many proposals from matchmakers in the industry. “After I said I was going to stop fighting, I received several emails trying to get me into another fight. I can’t say which promoters called me, but I thank all the people who are trying to help me. Maybe MMA, maybe Jiu-Jitsu. I’m going to wait for the year to end, let’s see about this turn towards 2024”, he suggests.

Regarding Jiu-Jitsu, this new phase for Bibiano Fernandes could be a return to the origins of gi competition. “I’m waiting for an opportunity to fight in the gi, especially now that I’ve stopped fighting for ONE Championship. Maybe I can fight in the IBJJF World Master or Pan-American Championships. Something like this. Because now I have time to direct my energy towards a new activity.”, he concludes, seeing good opportunities to continue staying active as a fighter.

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Written by Emmanuela Oliveira

Emmanuela Oliveira é faixa-marrom de Jiu-Jitsu e formada em Comunicação Social. Dentro do tatame, aprendeu que é possível conjugar Jiu-Jitsu, escrita e o gosto pelas artes visuais em um só pacote.

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