There are lots of people who do not believe in love at first sight, but do not count ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes amongst that crowd.
Not only does the 37-year-old believe in that romantic sentiment, but he is living proof that it exists.
In this millennial day and age where online dating seems to have become the norm, Fernandes found love the old fashioned way: he met a girl, was blown away by her beauty, and asked for her phone number. Today, they are married with three handsome sons.
Fernandes had just relocated from Brazil to Canada, and he was training with the best in British Columbia at Revolution Fight Team, then known as The Fortress.
While out to eat with some of his training partners, “The Flash” paid extra attention his waitress. Her name was Amanda, and he was smitten.
“I met her in Langley,” he begins. “She was working in a restaurant, and she was my waitress. I asked her for her number, and said, ‘What’s up? Nice to meet you. I am from here, but originally I am from Brazil.’
“Ten years ago this happened. I asked her if she was free, and if we could go for coffee, and I left my number for her. But she never called me.”
Fernandes moved on with his life, continued his training, and pursued his martial arts career. The Brazilian later attempted to contact Amanda once more, this time sending a text. He got a response, but it was not encouraging.
“She said she was very busy, and this and that,” he remembers. “I said no problem, and let it go.”
Then randomly, out of the blue, Fernandes’ phone rang. It was Amanda.
“One day, she called me,” he says, happily. “So we went for coffee, and had a good conversation. We talked about life, what I do for a living, and what she did. After that, I said I wanted to marry that girl.”
Just like he did with his career, Fernandes achieved what he set out to do, and eventually married the girl of his dreams. Today, they have three children together — Elias, Gabriel, and Lucas.
With his roots settled firmly in Canada, and a strong team rapport at Revolution Fight Team, “The Flash” continued chasing his martial arts dreams. He then achieved incredible success, capturing multiple titles including DREAM titles in two divisions, and most importantly, the ONE World Bantamweight Championship in 2013.
Of course, with family, it can be difficult to continue doing the activities and jobs you love. But with such an outstanding support system in place, Fernandes has been able to grow and challenge himself to his very limits.
Amanda has been a big reason for that.
“She helps me a lot. She is there, and she supports me. She lets me do what I have to do. She knows that this is for our family, the way that I live my life,” he says.
“She does sometimes get scared during the bouts, but she has always supported me 100 percent. She always tells me that I need to open a school. When I stop [competing] inside the cage, she thinks I can help a lot of people with a school.”
Amanda is by his side for each and every match, and she will undoubtedly be cheering him on from cageside in his battle against two-division ONE World Champion Martin Nguyen at ONE: IRON WILL this coming Saturday in Bangkok, Thailand.
By competing, and seeing her by his side, “The Flash” never forgets the reason why he enters the cage.
“I do this for my family, for my kids, for my friends, and for my wife,” Fernandes says.
“I know if I work hard and take care of myself, then I can take care of my family. I am blessed because I got an opportunity to be a father. I can coach, and I can take care of my kids. That’s a blessing.”
Bangkok | 24 March | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onewill18