Jonathan Haggerty is busy preparing for his chance to become a two-sport world champion against Fabricio Andrade, who he’ll battle for the vacant ONE bantamweight kickboxing title at ONE Fight Night 15 on Friday, Oct. 6, but that hasn’t stop challengers to his ONE bantamweight Muay Thai title from calling him out.
The 26-year-old is taking it all in stride, however, as he told ONE Championship in a recent interview.
“It’s fun having the belt and having a target on your back. It’s quite funny seeing everyone calling out your name. I’m top of the food chain, so I expect it,” Haggerty said.
“It’s a good thing, really. It means that I’m doing something right. Everyone wants a piece of me. If no one wanted to fight me, I’d be a little bit worried.”
The British striking superstar believes the constant callouts are because competitors in the division he reigns over see him as an easier opponent than Nong-O Hama – the man he knocked out to claim the world title.
Haggerty understands why they are coming forward to push for the gold but firmly believes they will soon find out that may not be the best idea.
“I don’t blame them. Nong-O destroyed them all, and now I’ve got the belt, they think they’ve got more of an opportunity to get it,” he claimed.
“I feel like I’m the cash cow now. I’ve got the belt, and they think that I’m an easy opponent. But let me tell you, it’s a different thing when we’re in there and you’re getting hit by me.
“So, they can all keep thinking it’s easy. Their time will come.”
One of the men at the top of Haggerty’s list is Liam Harrison. He was caught off-guard when his countryman had choice words about him on a recent podcast, and he now wants his chance to meet the former ONE World Title challenger in the ring.
And the bantamweight Muay Thai king sees their battle as a perfect opportunity for ONE to bring an event to the UK.
“It was all cool between us until I heard [Harrison] on a podcast saying he wants to punch my face in, saying I’m a little kid. But the realness of it is that when we get in there, I will be the one punching his face in. So, that’s all that matters,” Haggerty said.
“This fight would be for the fans. We’re here to give back to the fans who support us and give us love. If that’s what they want, then I’m buzzing to give it to them. I’m happy to sign the contract and get it on.”
But first on the list will be Fabricio Andrade at ONE Fight Night 15. After that, “The General” will be ready to take on whomever separates himself from the field for his first title defense.
ONE Fight Night 15 airs live on Prime Video at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Friday, Oct. 6. All Amazon Prime subscribers based in the U.S. and Canada can watch for free.
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