South Korean knockout artist Kwon Won Il has had enough of Fabricio Andrade’s disparaging pre-fight banter, and he wants to silence the rising Brazilian star once and for all when they meet in the Circle on Friday, 3 June.
The two surging contenders will throw down at ONE 158: Tawanchai vs. Larsen in Singapore, and the victor will inch their way even closer to a shot at John Lineker’s ONE Bantamweight World Championship.
For months, Kwon – the #2-ranked bantamweight MMA contender – has been hearing #4-ranked Andrade call himself the “uncrowned bantamweight king” and say that he is easily the best stand-up fighter in the division.
The Seoul native would love nothing more than to prove him wrong with a highlight-reel knockout and earn an unprecedented US$150,000 performance bonus in the process.
“He really talks too much. I really hope he keeps more to himself and talks less. I think a lot of fans and critics are looking forward to this match because we are both strong strikers.
“Nothing else matters, I just want to land a punch on his mouth so that he can stop talking. By scoring a knockout, I think I can expect not just the usual bonus, but a triple bonus. That’s what I think.”
Kwon and Andrade are currently two of the hottest fighters in the weight class.
The South Korean holds an 11-3 record, owns a 91 percent finishing rate, and has knocked out his last three opponents. Most recently, Kwon finished former ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon with a body shot in December.
Conversely, Andrade has a 7-2 slate, possesses a 72 percent finishing rate, and finds himself on a six-bout winning streak. “Wonder Boy” has regularly showcased his otherworldly striking skills and unbridled power, decimating highly regarded bantamweights such as Jeremy Pacatiw, Li Kai Wen, and Shoko Sato.
As such, Kwon isn’t taking his Brazilian adversary lightly.
Despite acknowledging the level of danger Andrade poses for him in this matchup, the 26-year-old remains confident he will emerge the winner of this pivotal bantamweight showdown.
“I have to admit he is a tricky opponent, for sure. He’s pretty good at Muay Thai, and an athlete who adopts his knees and kicks well. I admit, he’s a good striker, but I’m not really interested in his style or techniques because I strongly believe that I will be the winner of this match.”
Kwon Won Il Says Fight With Fabricio Andrade Could Steal The Show
There are a lot of exciting matchups on the ONE 158 lineup, but Kwon Won Il believes his bantamweight encounter with Fabricio Andrade could end up being the most electrifying one of the night.
The buildup to this fight has been interesting, with both men trading barbs on social media and in the press. This is mainly due to Andrade’s propensity to initiate verbal tirades against other highly ranked bantamweights.
And while “Pretty Boy” tried to be a willing participant in this war of words, Andrade didn’t allow it, which is something that has left the South Korean a little perplexed.
“He challenged and tagged me via Instagram, and I tried to leave a comment on his post, but he had disabled the commenting function. So, I’m kind of speechless and don’t really understand what he’s trying to do. I can’t really grasp his thinking process, he seems a little delusional to me.”
One thing is for certain: both men are coming into this heated affair with a lot of momentum.
With a combined 18 victories and 15 finishes between the two of them, no one expects this fight to go the distance – including Kwon, who will be gunning for his fourth straight knockout win.
The Seoul native said:
“At the end of the day, I guess it’s going to be an exciting one since we’re both going to aim for a knockout. I think it will be a fun match because I always prepare to [go for] a KO. I do think this match will be the most exciting one out of the whole card.”