ONE Championship host ONE: Kings & Conquerors at Macao’s Cotai Arena on Saturday (August 5), a show headlined by a ONE bantamweight title fight between Bibiano ‘The Flash’ Fernandes and Andrew Leone.
Fernandes, the longest-reigning champion in ONE Championship history, hasn’t lost a fight since 2010, winning twelve in a row, and was last seen defeating Reece McLaren by decision in December. The Brazilian’s fight with Leone represents his eighth defence of his title.
“I’m excited for the fight,” said Fernandes, 20-3. “I’m going to bring my best to this fight. I’m going to bring my best jiu-jitsu. I’m a disciplined fighter, I work hard and I do my best in training. My opponent says he can defeat me. Let’s see.”
Andrew Leone, 8-2, is a New Yorker who fights out of Phuket, Thailand. The 27-year-old has had three fights for ONE Championship and won every single one of them.
“I just want to thank ONE Championship,” he said. “It’s amazing what the organization is doing in Asia. They’re really building heroes. Bibiano Fernandes has been champion for a long time. I respect him. It’s going to be a tough night but I’m looking forward to it. I’m going out on Saturday to try to win a world championship.”
The night’s co-main event sees ONE flyweight champion Kairat Akhmetov take on ONE interim flyweight Champion Adriano Moraes.
“I want to thank everyone who helped me prepare for this fight – all my teammates, my gym,” said Akhmetov, 23-0. “I’ve been away for a long time. Now that I’m back, I have become a better fighter. I’m ready to showcase my new skills. I believe it’s going to be a good and exciting fight with Adriano (Moraes).”
The 15-2 Moraes, meanwhile, said: “I’m so glad to be here. This is my second time in Macao. The last time I was here it was a wonderful night for me when I brought this belt back to Brazil. I don’t know if you have seen my last fight with [Kairat] Akhmetov, but I think I won that fight. This time I will show the world I am the true champion.”
Chatri Sityodtong, Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship, stated: “It is my honor and pleasure to see some of the greatest martial artists on the planet compete in ONE Championship. The thing that makes ONE Championship different to any other organization in the world is that we want to build and unleash martial arts superheroes to ignite the world with inspiration, hope, dreams, strength and courage. Our heroes are role models not only in the cage, but also outside of the cage.”