Kim was sidelined after his TKO victory over Leandro Issa last year when he claimed the 135-pound title, and the bantamweights are set to meet at One FC 11’s main event on Oct. 18 in Singapore.
Fernandes, a former Dream bantamweight and featherweight champion, wants to add another title to his record.
"Soo Chul Kim is the champion and I respect him," Fernandes told MMAFighting.com. "To get where he is today, I need to work. He’s the first, I’m the second until the day I fight him."
A multiple-time jiu-jitsu world champion, Fernandes has worked hard to become a well-rounded fighter, and training with the likes of Matt Hume, Tim Boetsch and UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson is helping him to get there.
"Demetrious and I help each other a lot," he said. "We mix it up, every day he has something to ask and so do I. We learn a lot training together. His stand up game is really good. He’s fast and has a great cardio. This kid’s cardio is impressive, so he’s helping me a lot."
Kim is coming off three consecutive wins, including two knockout stoppages, but the Brazilian doesn’t worry about his opponent’s game.
"I’ve trained a lot and will be ready on fight night," Fernandes said. "I’ve done everything I had to do, now it’s time to make it happen.
"I don’t focus on what the other guy can do," he continued. "Sometimes you can train this thing and other thing happens in the fight. I just watch his tapes to see what he does best, like his right hand, but that’s it. I know what he does, but I’ll be ready to surprise him. I can surprise him in a lot of ways. I know what he does, so I’ll decide what I’ll do against him."
Kim believes he has the one-punch knockout power to finish the fight, but that’s the king of pre-fight talk Fernandes has already heard in the past.
"He can say whatever he wants, but we’ll see what happens inside the cage," he said. "Joachim Hansen had heavy hands, (Kid) Yamamoto had heavy hands, (Hiroyuki) Takaya knocked everybody out. Everybody said they’d knock me out and that they had heavy hands, but they couldn’t do it. I’ll be ready for his hands and for anything else when the time comes."