The name Bibiano Fernandes rings highly with anybody involved in the mixed martial arts (MMA) world.
Fernandes is the ONE Bantamweight World Champion and he will return to action on 18 July at Yangon's Thuwunna Stadium in Myanmar for ONE: KINGDOM OF WARRIORS.
His opponent, though, has quite an impressive resume and just might be one of the stiffest challenges to date for Fernandes. Toni Tauru is regarded as the top bantamweight fighter in Finland and isn't making the trek over to ONE just for fun.
He sports a shiny 10-1-1 record that includes 15 amateur fights before deciding to turn pro.
Tauru, 30 years old, comes from a different background than most. He followed that of his countrymen by enlisting in the military at 18, becoming a sniper in a long-range recon team.
While enlisted, he picked up skills in kickboxing and "military-style" wrestling that helped spark an interest in MMA.
He first secured a Bachelor of Science before adding a Degree in Sports Science recently.
Tauru's decision to further his education while also maintaining a strict MMA career has allowed him to open up a Crossfit gym where he keeps active during the offseason; he also does his MMA training at two separate gyms, as one is for grappling and the other kickboxing.
Nicknamed "Dynamite" for his ability to pack quite punch into his 5-foot-10, 135-pound body, Tauru owns seven straight submission wins to his credit.
Back in September, he claimed a finish of Cory Tait late in the fourth round that netted him the Cage Warriors Bantamweight Championship.
Overall, Tauru has won 10 in a row dating back to a submission loss to Mikael Silander in 2011. His pro debut, also in 2011, was a draw vs. Ricky Granstad, and he hasn't tasted defeat since.
Tauru has also held the Shooto Scandinavian Bantamweight Tournament title and placed third in the ADCC pros. He's also a former Finland IBJJF Tournament Champion on No-gi.
Against Fernandes, Tauru will be relying on both his size and "adrenaline" advantages.
A self-proclaimed "adrenaline junkie," Tauru enjoys skydiving, rock climbing and mountain biking in what little free time he has. "Bibiano will have to close the distance with me each time he tries to take me down so I'm training mostly to work the clinch and then I can decide where to take the fight," he said.
Fernandes (17-3) is a perfect 4-0 with ONE, including a December submission win over Dae Hwan Kim in defence of his title. Overall, he has won eight in a row, including four finishes.
ONE Championship Myanmar, are you ready? ONE Championship is coming to Yangon on 18 July 2015 with a blockbuster event featuring the best fighters in the world! This event is expected to be SOLD OUT! Use the Yangon Hotline 1876 now to get your tickets.Posted by ONE Championship on Monday, 29 June 2015
Tickets for ONE: KINGDOM OF WARRIORS on 18 July 2015 in Yangon are on sale now via a Yangon hotline 1876.
Ticket categories begin with the full Red Carpet and cageside experience for VIPs at 200,000 kyats (S$242.50), followed by Gold 50,000 kyats, Silver 25,000 kyats and Bronze 10,000 kyats. Prices exclude ticketing fee.