Bangkok, Thai Lan (MMA Fighting, Mar 25,2018): Facing one of the toughest tests of his career, Bibiano Fernandes came out of it in the same fashion as he has so many others – with his hand raised in the air.
In the main event of ONE Championship: Iron Will on Saturday at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand, “The Flash” emerged victorious with a split decision nod over two-division champion Martin Nguyen to successfully defend his ONE bantamweight title for a seventh consecutive time.
The outcome was in doubt for the majority of the five-round contest as both Fernandes and Nguyen had their moments. Fernandes repeatedly used leg kicks and a lunging overhand right to set up takedowns, while Nguyen countered with leg kicks and his own stiff right hand. “The Situ-Asian” was able to hold his own against Fernandes’s vaunted grappling for the most part, scrambling out of dangerous situations even when Fernandes was able to put him on the mat.
In Round 3, Fernandes managed to secure back control and he searched for a rear-naked choke only to have Nguyen slip out of his grasp.
Nguyen’s jab was giving Fernandes problems throughout the fight. He opened up a cut on Fernandes’s forehead and opened it up even more in Round 4 when he caught Fernandes with a kick as he ducked in for a takedown attempt.
The judges likely were waiting for a decisive final frame to help them render their decision (ONE bouts are scored in their entirety, not round by round) and it was Fernandes who would land the most telling blow, knocking Nguyen down with about a minute remaining in the fight:
In the end, two of the three judges deemed Fernandes the winner. In addition to increasing his championship streak, he has now won 14-consecutive bouts and his pro record stands at 22-3.