Fernandes is the reigning One Championship bantamweight titleholder and the most dominant champion in the promotion’s history by wide margin, but he has a problem. Specifically, he has a Kevin Belingon problem, as a combination of injuries and weird fight outcomes have led to Fernandes having to face Belingon four times in his last seven fights, including the last three in a row. The three-time Mundials gold medalist has been one of the world’s best in his weight range for over a decade, and may be the most accomplished active fighter never to have passed through the Ultimate Fighting Championship. At 40, however, “Flash” is in legacy mode, and what he needs more than anything is a new face across the cage. Wednesday’s main event may yield that fresh challenger. While the 7-1 Worthen is a solid prospect and a likely title challenger at some point, at this point a Lineker win would be the sexier outcome, with his famed punching power and goofy yet magnetic demeanor.
Here is the history of the One Championship bantamweight title and the times it was won, lost or defended. It tells the story of a division that almost from Day 1 has been under the heel of an all-time great, who is still waiting to see who’s next.
Ben Duffy/Sherdog.com illustration