Treasure In The Amazon Jungle
It is no secret that Bibiano Fernandes (22-3) is one of my favorite world champions. He is a legend. Not only is he one of the greatest pound-for-pound world champions on the planet in history, but Bibi is one of the most kind, humble, and philosophical human beings you will ever meet in life. Bibi and I have known each other for around 10 years since our days in DREAM when I used to corner Shinya (before I had started ONE Championship).
I still remember the first time we met. It was on the fighter bus on the way back to the hotel after the fights at DREAM at Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo. It was amazing, but we didn’t talk about martial arts or fighting at all. (Anyone who knows me will say that I only talk about martial arts). We hit it off right away. Funnily enough, we talked about the meaning of life, and our respective journeys. As a child, Bibi lived in the Amazon Jungle in destitute poverty. Many days, he had to scavenge for food by himself for his daily sustenance. He was only 7 years old when his mother passed away. Bibi also almost died from malaria in the jungle. And much later, he worked as a cleaner at a local BJJ school in exchange for free lessons. Often, he fought in tournaments without food. Amazingly, Bibi went on to become a multiple-time BJJ World Champion, and one of the greatest in history for his weight class. He also went on to become a DREAM World Champion and the most dominant multiple-time ONE Bantamweight World Champion in history.
Today, Bibiano is an inspiration to the world. He and his wife Amanda Da Silva are proud parents to 3 beautiful sons. Bibi has saved his money wisely, and made smart investments along the way. And, when he decides to retire as an athlete, he will not have to worry about financial issues. That being said, Bibi will have a full-time job waiting for him at ONE Championship after his fighting days are over. I am proud to call Bibi a brother, a teammate, and a superhero. He is a true martial artist with a heart of gold. Thank you for representing all of us on the global stage of martial arts, Bibi! Obrigado por tudo, irmao!
WAR BIBIANO!!! #WeAreONE
Chatri Sityodtong is a self-made entrepreneur and lifelong martial artist from Thailand. His rags-to-riches life story has inspired millions around the world on BBC News, CNN, Financial Times, Bloomberg TV, CNBC, Channel NewsAsia, and other major media. He is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of ONE Championship, Asia’s largest global sports media property in history with a global broadcast to over 1.7 billion potential viewers across 136 countries around the world. Forbes most recently selected Sityodtong as one of Asia’s next generation tycoons. He was also named “Asia’s King of Martial Arts” by the Financial Times and the “3rd Most Powerful Person in Sports in Asia” by FOX Sports. He is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at INSEAD, Europe’s top business school. Sityodtong holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Tufts University.