‘Can’t Wait To Give Him A Beating’ – Jonathan Haggerty Fired Up For Grudge Match With Felipe Lobo
The British superstar will put his belt on the line against #3-ranked contender Felipe “Demolition Man” Lobo in U.S. primetime on February 16, and with some history between them, Haggerty is eager to get his hands on the challenger.
“The General” most recently defeated Lobo’s teammate Fabricio “Wonder Boy” Andrade to claim the ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Title.
Immediately after, he exchanged heated words with Lobo in the ring. Now, the two dangerous strikers will get their chance to exchange strikes at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
Haggerty recently spoke to onefc.com about his brewing rivalry with the Brazilian:
“When [Lobo] defeated Saemapetch [Fairtex], he was calling my name in the ring, and then he was in the back room after the fight calling my name, but I think his adrenaline must have died down because I didn’t hear anything from him since.
“I was sending him messages telling him, ‘Come on, and let’s have it.’ I was commenting on social media trying to get him to bite, and he wasn’t coming back with anything, so I thought he must have lost his pen – he couldn’t put pen to paper!
“After I beat Andrade, he was in the corner, and I just told him straight, ‘You don’t want it.’ It’s not every day the champion is calling out a top contender. It should be the other way around. I just can’t wait to give him a beating. That’s all.”
Despite their bad blood, Haggerty respects what Lobo brings to the table and views him as the rightful next challenger to the throne.
“Demolition Man” knocked out former top-ranked contender and current #4 Saemapetch in his last outing and has repeatedly shown that he can beat the division’s elite.
For his part, the reigning king believes that Lobo’s power and skill set will make for an exciting stylistic clash when they meet in Bangkok:
“Lobo deserves it. He stopped Saemapetch. He’s a great fighter. There’s respect there in the fighter sense. I just feel like we’re going to jell well. His style is perfect for me. He’s a perfect target for me, and I just can’t wait to throw down with him.”
Haggerty Says Lobo Will ‘Crumble’ Under Pressure
Jonathan Haggerty is certainly a veteran of high-profile fights in ONE Championship.
With three ONE World Titles on his resume, “The General” has often delivered when it matters most, and he’s looked stronger than ever since moving up from flyweight.
So, while he knows that Lobo is a tough opponent, the confident titleholder expects to implement a game plan that the challenger won’t be able to handle.
“I feel like Felipe starts very slow, and he’s got a very Thai boxing style, but you can’t relax like that against me.
“If you put it on him, he doesn’t like it, and he’s going to crumble. I bring that style where I’m going to put it on you until the bell goes, so I’m just wondering how he’s going to cope with my pressure and my strikes.
“He did great against Saemapetch. He came back from a knockdown and showed great heart and great determination, so this will be a great fight. But he won’t be getting back up after I hit him. That’s the difference.”
Sensing an opportunity to overwhelm Lobo, “The General” likes his chances of dispatching the Brazilian early.
If “Demolition Man” does manage to stay in the fight, Haggerty will be ready, but he’s not giving his rival great odds.
The two-sport ONE World Champion added:
“I’m going to come out of the blocks explosive, find the shots early in round one, and hopefully find what I’m looking for to get the job done. I always prepare for a five-round fight, but if you can get it done in round one or round two, then why not?
“And I feel like I’m in his head. I’m 1-0 up against his training partner. I heard that Andrade gets the better of him in sparring. I’m not too sure how true that is, but if it is then, well, we’re going for round one!”