In January, 2013, I had the privilege to meet Bibiano Fernandes when he attended Satyen Raja’s The Unforgettable Challenge event as a special guest. Bibiano spoke of his journey of learning to speak with his inner dragon, rather than trying to kill it, and his own philosophies on using his opponents to become even stronger. Our conversation on facing dragons led to this inspiring interview.
“Dragon, lion, is within you, is within me right now.” – Bibiano Fernandes, ONE FC and Dream Bantamweight World Champion, MMA
As Bibiano says, everyone has a different dragon within them with different needs and it’s your job to figure out what your dragon needs.
“My dragon needs love,” says Bibiano.
“For me, more things are about forgiving. Because when you are forgiving, it’s easy for you to move forward.” – Bibiano Fernandes, ONE FC and Dream Bantamweight World Champion, MMA
Bibiano is the first and former Dream Featherweight Champion and currently holds the title as Dream Bantamweight Champion. Following this interview on February 5, 2013, Bibiano went on to take the ONE FC World Champion Bantamweight Belt.
“I don’t believe in violence. Today, when we have fight, it’s peace. It’s my business. It’s me and my opponent.” – Bibiano Fernandes, ONE FC and Dream Bantamweight World Champion, MMA
“The way I see my friend, he’s my dragon. My opponent is my dragon. When he’s coming for me, I know he wants to take me and I say, ‘okay, come on. Let’s go do it,’ you know what I mean? But in my conscious mind, I don’t go crazy because I’m in the moment. I’m in the present moment with my opponent; with my dragon; with my life.” – Bibiano Fernandes, ONE FC and Dream Bantamweight World Champion, MMA
Bibiano ‘The Flash’ Fernandes, multiple World Champion BJJ and MMA fighter, was born March 30, 1980 in the city of Manaus, in the Brazilian Amazon.
As a boy, he remembers seeing a small guy take the Championship Belt from the big guy. He knew that day that this was his destiny. He would be the best in the world and nothing would stop him.
Bibiano’s mother passed away when he was just 8 and his father did not have the means to support him and his family. His response was to take life into his own hands and he moved into the jungle where he hunted and fished for survival.
After a couple years living in the jungle, he moved back to the city where he went from hunter gatherer to living on the streets washing car windows at stop lights and begging for food. Sometimes a step backward in life can be a step forward at the same time.
One day, as Bibiano was washing car windows, he met some guys who trained BJJ. They invited Bibiano to come and watch one of their trainings and showed him some moves, but because he couldn’t afford it, he was unable to continue to train.
This, however, did not stop Bibiano from continuing to visit the classes to see what was being taught. His interest in BJJ captured the attention of a woman training at the academy who decided to pay for Bibiano’s training. His natural ability in BJJ quickly shone through as he won his first competition as a white belt with only two weeks training.
Bibiano Fernandes received his black belt in 2002. In 2004, he won his first World Championship as a black belt in BJJ and received many welcomes to fight in the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) arena. He won his first MMA fight in just 31 seconds, this his name ‘The Flash’, referring to his reputation to finish matches in a flash.
Bibiano climbed the ranks quickly in both BJJ and MMA. He trained hard and no matter what anyone said, he kept his vision alive. He has been a 5-X Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Champion and 3-X Pan American Champion. He was considered to be the best under 64kg/141lbs in BJJ before he decided to shift his focus to MMA. In MMA, he has quickly established himself as the top fighter in his weight division.
“I can show you the door, but I can’t open it for you. You have to open it and you have to figure it out.” – Bibiano Fernandes, ONE FC and Dream Bantamweight World Champion, MMA
“Sometimes, people don’t discover themselves because they look everywhere and stop looking inside themselves.” – Bibiano Fernandes, ONE FC and Dream Bantamweight World Champion, MMA
May his words, his actions and his spirit inspire and move you to live your dream today. Never wait, for the only moment to live is NOW!
Bibiano now lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada, with his family where he trains, coaches and competes in the arts of Mixed Martial Arts and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.