ONE bantamweight MMA world champion Fabricio “Wonder Boy” Andrade doesn’t lack confidence. The Brazilian star has never backed away from a challenge, and he repeatedly referred to himself as “the uncrowned king” en route to winning the divisional gold earlier this year.
At ONE Fight Night 16 on Friday, Nov. 3, Wonder Boy will do it all again, as he eyes the vacant ONE bantamweight kickboxing championship.
Standing across the ring from him inside Bangkok, Thailand’s Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, will be ONE bantamweight Muay Thai champion Jonathan “The General” Haggerty.
The General carries with him a significant striking reputation in ONE, but Andrade won’t be entering the main event battle believing himself the underdog.
“I think I’m more used to the rules of kickboxing. I haven’t fought kickboxing for a long time, but I train constantly. So, I believe I will have an advantage because of that,” he told ONE Championship.
Andrade’s background is in kickboxing, and he amassed 20 career victories with few defeats in the sport. The General, on the other hand, has spent his career competing in Muay Thai, giving the Brazilian a leg up, according to him.
“It’s going to be a very difficult fight for him. Haggerty has never done kickboxing, so he’s not used to the rules. People say he has the advantage because I’m drastically changing sports from MMA to kickboxing, something nobody wants to do, but I think it’s going to be much more difficult for him,” Andrade proclaimed.
Additionally, Wonder Boy is trusting in his size and power against Haggerty.
While the bantamweight Muay Thai king sparked one of the year’s biggest upsets by knocking out Nong-O Hama to claim the coveted crown in April, Andrade still believes he is the smaller man in the matchup, given he has only just come up to the weight bracket after a career spent at flyweight.
“Haggerty was knocked out by Rodtang, and that defeat was in a division below. As we are a category above, there will be a big difference in power in the strikes. And I believe that I have much more punching power than the guys in the lower division. So, Haggerty will really feel the power of my punches in this weight division,” he stated.
Although brimming with confidence, the bantamwieght MMA titleholder isn’t arrogant. He understands Haggerty is still a world-class striker who poses an immense threat in their battle.
But the British star losing one of his biggest weapons under the kickboxing rule set has Andrade seeing a clear path to becoming a two-sport king in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
“He is a very technical fighter, and that is one of his strengths. He works well on his opponent’s mistakes. But I believe the strong point of his [Muay Thai] game is his feints to land his elbows. But, as it will be a kickboxing fight, he won’t be able to use elbows,” the 26-year-old said.
When it comes to how the much-anticipated brawl will go down, Andrade has plans to score a knockout. But he is also willing to make quick adjustments and match his British counterpart if needs be.
On Nov. 3, he’ll bite down on his mouthpiece and try with all his mite to continue his rise as one of the pound-for-pound best stars in all of martial arts.
“It will be interesting to see what different things he can bring to a kickboxing fight. But I think he will fight strategically and try to play a counter game to prevent me from working on my boxing,” Andrade said.
ONE Fight Night 16 airs live on Prime Video at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Friday, Nov. 3. The event is free for all Amazon Prime subscribers based in the U.S. and Canada.
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