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Bibiano Fernandes returns from hiatus to defend ONE belt against John Lineker

ONE bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes is set to take on heavy-hitter John Lineker in December.

Bibiano Fernandes is set to face John Lineker in December.
Bibiano Fernandes is set to face John Lineker in December.
Photo by David Ash/ONE Championship/Getty Images

Two years after his last appearance, ONE bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes appears ready for a new challenge. During MMA Fighting’s MMA Hour, president Chatri Sityodtong announced that the champ will return to take on none other than the heavy-handed UFC vet John Lineker in December.

In his last outing, back in October of 2019, Bibiano (24-4) defended the belt in a trilogy match against Kevin Belingon—winning via submission in the second round. Previously, the 41-year-old multiple-time BJJ world champion had won the title by disqualification, after Belingon hit Fernandes with illegal elbows.

Fernandes’ last loss was also his first encounter with Kevin. In November 2018, ‘Flash’ dropped a split decision to the then interim champion, in a title unification bout for ONE’s bantamweight division.

Undefeated since joining ONE two years ago, Lineker (34-9) is currently on a three-fight winning streak—with victories over Muin Gafurov, Troy Worthen, and the aforementioned Belingon. The 31-year-old’s last loss came in his final UFC outing, when he dropped a split decision to Cory Sandhagen, back in April 2019.

Fernandes is expected to meet Lineker at ONE Championship: One X, on December 3, in Singapore. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a contest between former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson and Muay Thai athlete Rodtang Jitmuangnon. The bout will alternate between Muay Thai and MMA rules from round to round.