Fabricio Andrade’s bid to become the ONE bantamweight champion was looking good last October. Right up until it wasn’t. The fiery Brazilian dished out ample damage on John Lineker for two and a half rounds of their title tussle at ONE on Prime Video 3, but a wayward kick thrown by “Wonder Boy” in the third frame landed low on the former divisional king, leaving him unable to continue.
The bout was ruled a no contest as a result, but they’ll get a chance to run it back for the vacant crown in the main event of ONE Fight Night 7 on Prime Video on Feb. 24.
Andrade recently spoke to ONE Championship about his second chance to become a champion, and the undefeated star is feeling supremely confident ahead of the rematch.
“He will definitely prepare more now that he knows how good I am. But I believe this will not make a difference. Three months of training will not make him become another athlete. I know how he fights; he knows how I fight, and that won’t change for the rematch. So, I’m sure I’ll knock him out one more time,” Andrade said.
The Hiit Studio and Marrok Force representative has been on fire since arriving in ONE. He has scored a finish in four of his five victories and has spent an average of just over half a round inside the Circle.
Wonder Boy is quick and decisive when he steps onto the global stage. And while his physical skills have been on point up to now, he believes the mental edge will be the biggest factor in the rematch.
After touching up “Hands of Stone” in their first meeting, Andrade feels that Lineker will have doubts that he can upend the dynamic 25-year-old when they square off later this month.
“I think the fact that I came very close to ending the fight, that he was badly hurt in the fight, and that I defended all his attempts on the ground, makes a difference in the psychological factor. He knows I’m better than him. His chance of winning this fight is if something extraordinary happens. But we know that I’m the best athlete, that this is my moment, and that I’m going to be the champion,” Andrade said.
Although he is beaming with confidence and predicting a finish against his compatriot, the bantamweight phenom is refusing to take Lineker lightly. Hands of Stone was stripped of the World Title for missing weight and hydration before their first matchup, and Andrade expects his undefeated foe to have learned a harsh lesson from this.
If he slips in his weight preparation again, though, nothing will change for the top-ranked contender, as he still plans to compete and take home the ONE bantamweight championship.
“[Linker] will definitely be more attentive with this weight issue. Nobody likes to be on time and not make weight. No one wants to look unprofessional. So, I believe he will be aware of his weight so that it doesn’t happen again,” Andrade said.
“That doesn’t interfere with anything. I’m not worried about that. If he doesn’t make weight again, we’re going to fight anyway, and I’m going to knock him out.”
ONE Fight Night 7: Lineker vs. Andrade II airs live and free on Friday, Feb. 24. The action begins at 8 p.m. ET on Prime Video, free to all U.S. and Canadian Amazon Prime subscribers.