‘A Year That Opened Many Doors’ – Breakout Star Fabricio Andrade Grateful For Life-Changing 2022
Brazilian MMA fighter Fabricio Andrade came into 2022 as a rising phenom and only picked up momentum as the months went on.
After reeling off three straight victories to start his ONE Championship career, “Wonder Boy” fought three more times this year, shooting up the bantamweight ranks all the way to a World Title bout against John “Hands of Stone” Lineker.
That highly anticipated showdown took place in the main event of ONE on Prime Video 3 in October and ended – to the disappointment of Andrade and fans alike – in a no contest due to an inadvertent low blow.
Despite that sour ending, the 25-year-old finished 2022 as the #1-ranked contender and is plenty satisfied with his achievements and development.
“Wonder Boy” told ONEFC.com:
“It was a very good year with many professional and personal accomplishments. Regardless of the result of the last fight, I think it was a very good year because it taught me a lot and made me evolve as an athlete and as a person.”
While his matchup with Lineker didn’t quite go to plan, the highlight of Andrade’s 2022 came when he knocked out South Korean standout Kwon Won Il in June at ONE 158.
At that time, Kwon represented the toughest opponent of the Brazilian’s career, while the sensational KO will be replayed for years to come.
The finish propelled “Wonder Boy” to a World Title shot, and he also earned a US$50,000 performance bonus – money that represented a pivotal moment both personally and professionally.
“By far, my favorite memory was when I knocked out the #2-ranked fighter and won the $50,000 bonus. It was a very important moment in my life, as things started to improve a lot financially, and consequently, everything started to get better in my life.
As an athlete, I was able to invest more in my career, and that was a very important step for me. So, that was the best memory I had this year, and I hope it will be repeated more often.”
Fabricio Andrade Shares Big Goals For 2023
With 2022 coming to a close, Fabricio Andrade can look forward to even bigger things in 2023.
First and foremost, he’s slated to settle the score with Lineker in a ONE Bantamweight World Title rematch at ONE on Prime Video 7 on February 10. And if their first showdown was any indication, the pair’s second encounter is destined to produce fireworks.
Despite the unfortunate ending, that high-profile matchup was ultra-entertaining, drew millions of eyeballs, and earned Andrade countless new fans. With all that in mind, the Brazilian knows the past 12 months were truly special:
“2022 was a year that many people got to know me and also recognized the level I am at. It was a year that opened many doors for me and changed my life financially. It was a very good year, and I can only be grateful.”
Now firmly established as a global star, Andrade has even bigger dreams for the coming year.
“For 2023, I can’t expect anything different. I believe that many good things will happen. My first goal for 2023 is to become the World Champion in my division. After that, I intend to defend the belt.
I also want to buy a house for my family in Brazil and one for myself in Thailand. There are many goals I intend to achieve, but these are the main ones.”