Fabricio Andrade (L) (ONE Championship)

Fabricio Andrade Discusses a Life of Growing up and Fighting

Last October, Fabricio Andrade appeared to be nearing a life-changing victory in his ONE Bantamweight World Championship showdown with John Lineker. But an errant strike landed low on his rival and put a sudden halt to the action, leaving the coveted throne empty.

This Friday, Feb. 24, Andrade will get another chance to become the bantamweight king when he takes on Lineker once again in the main event of ONE Fight Night 7.

Ahead of his second shot at destiny, “Wonder Boy” spoke to ONE Championship and reflected on what brought him to combat sports in the first place, growing up poor, and leaving home to chase his dream.


“I wasn’t very outgoing, I was more quiet. Sometimes it happened that someone provoked me, but I found a way to return the provocation or defend myself. I always tried to defend myself. I never took shit home, and I fought when I needed to fight,” Andrade said.

His never-back-down response to confrontation soon led him to discover a world that would set the course of the rest of his life.

Though a keen soccer player, “Wonder Boy” recognized that the striking arts held something special for him, so he decided to dedicate his time to them fully.

“I started training because I wanted to fight in the street. A friend took me to train Muay Thai, and I enjoyed it. One day, I went to see him fight, and that was so cool for me. He was in the ring fighting, and everyone was looking at him. He was the center of attention, and that enchanted me,” he said.

“I gave up soccer the next day and started to dedicate myself only to fighting. From that day, I felt something different, I knew this was what I had to do. I started to get good at it, everyone praised me, and it motivated me every day.”

Andrade’s journey started in whirlwind fashion. After one professional fight in Brazil, the young upstart found his way to Asia. His time there started with back-to-back losses in his first two fights, which was difficult for him to deal with. However, the defeats were nothing on the isolation he felt as a non-native speaker.

“One of the worst was when I left my family in Brazil to live in China. I didn’t speak English, and I didn’t know anyone – just a manager who said he would get me a fight. I communicated through a translator, and it was very difficult. I lived at the gym with a lot of Chinese people, and I didn’t have friends or anyone to talk to,” said Andrade.

“I remember many times I regretted going to China. I would go to the bathroom and cry for hours because I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t have money and neither did my family, so I didn’t want to ask for their help because I didn’t want to make them worried.”

Using his hardships as a way of character building, Andrade persevered, and he soon got back in the win column. After two exceptional victories in 2018 and 2019, he arrived in ONE, where he came into his own as a person and athlete.

Now a brash 25-year-old on the doorstep of greatness, “Wonder Boy” still falls back on his struggles to put it all in perspective. He knows that without the roadblocks in his way, he would have never become one of the brightest stars in MMA today.

“Every day I wake up, and I still can’t believe everything that’s happening in my life and how far I’ve come. But what excites me the most is that I always knew I would make it, even with all the difficulties,” he said.

“If you believe in your heart, do what has to be done, because at some point things will work out. We plant today to harvest tomorrow.”

ONE Fight Night 7 airs live on Prime Video at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, Feb. 24. All of the action is free to Amazon Prime subscribers based in the U.S. and Canada.