The One Championships promotion has resigned its current bantamweight champion as Bibiano Fernandes has agreed to a new multi-fight deal with the company.
The bantamweight star did get offers from M-1 Challenge, Rizin FF and Bellator MMA, but he felt One Championships was the best home for him.
"I’m in this fighting business for a long time, and I will stop fighting soon. That’s the truth,” Fernandes told MMA Fighting. "If I stop fighting, I have to think about my future and my kids’ future. Thinking long term, it was the best decision I made. And ONE still has a lot of challenges for me as well."
Fernandes last competed at this past December’s One Championships event, where he defended the gold against Reece McClaren.
The champion didn’t just resign with the company because he is there champion, but he has future plans with ONE.
"After I stop fighting, I’ll be an ambassador for ONE Championship and I’ll be able to help a lot of talented people,” Fernandes said. "People fight their entire lives and when it’s over he has nothing? I’ll continue in the sport, training, helping other people, and that made the difference for me. I believe it was the best decision. M-1 and Rizin reached out to me, but the one that tried hard to sign me was Bellator,” he continued. "They tried really hard. But I’m a professional fighter and have to think long term, and long term the best option was from ONE. Bellator came close, they made a great offer, but ONE made a better one and I decided to stay.”
One Championships next event will be One Championships 53, which is taking place on March 11.