Fabricio Andrade overcame John Lineker and assumed the throne in ONE Championship’s bantamweight division in his last visit to the Circle, but it didn’t come without its struggles.
During the ONE Fight Night 7 main event on Feb. 24, Andrade ate stiff shots from “Hands of Stone,” but he kept marching forward. Eventually, his jabs and quick combinations paid off, causing Lineker to quit on his stool.
Having taken some time to reflect on how he became king, Andrade is satisfied with his display.
“I thought my performance was very good. It was a very tough fight, where I needed to go into deep water. Lineker is the guy who’s given me the most trouble in ONE. And it was the first time I fought until the fourth round. I was prepared to fight the five rounds, so I think I had a great performance,” Andrade told ONE.
“Wonder Boy” went on to credit Lineker’s ability to withstand his power. Although he couldn’t put his fellow Brazilian away during the action proper, Lineker’s vision was impaired to the extent that his corner had no choice but to stop the action at the end of the fourth frame.
“I was ready for the fifth round. I was feeling really good. When the break time ended, my corner came down from the ring and I was waiting for Lineker. I kept looking at him and he was taking his time to come back. Then I looked at his manager and saw him giving the signal to end the fight. That’s when I went out celebrating,” said “Wonder Boy.”
The struggle and relentless pressure he had to endure against “Hands of Stone” left its own mark on the new world champion following the fight, leading to him being transported to a local hospital following the win.
While there, he met up with his rival, and they shared a brief moment of mutual respect.
“We were both badly hurt and ended up in the hospital. We met there quickly and we only took a photo. I was medicated, so I was already on another planet. And the result of the exams only showed that I broke a finger and will have to stay out of work for a few months,” Andrade said.
Despite needing some time to recover, the 25-year-old already has his first title defense in mind. During the post-match interview, Andrade called out Stephen Loman.
The third-ranked bantamweight has looked fantastic since joining ONE and is coming off of a dominant showcase over former titleholder Bibiano Fernandes.
“I intend to fight as soon as possible, but it will depend on my recovery. I will do everything to recover quickly from this hand injury to get back up in the ONE Circle. And next in line is Stephen Loman. So he can start training now,” Andrade said.