The 32-year-old Lineker – who captured the belt with a shocking knockout of longtime king Bibiano Fernandes in March – is raring to step back inside the Circle and silence his fellow Brazilian.
A showdown between “Hands of Stone” and “Wonder Boy” might be in the cards, as both mixed martial artists have been on a tear in ONE Championship.
Lineker has gone 4-0 since debuting in 2019, earning a unanimous decision victory and then three consecutive knockouts to claim the gold.
Meanwhile, Andrade has quickly climbed through the ranks with a 5-0 slate that includes three KOs and a submission. “Wonder Boy” has also made it a point to call out the bantamweight elite – even labeling Lineker a “chicken.”
“Hands of Stone” won’t get into a war of words with the younger Andrade, but he would love to teach the brash 24-year-old a lesson in humility.
The veteran told ONE Championship:
“I’m getting used to this type of athlete who likes to promote fights by disrespecting opponents. It just goes to show that he’s a disrespectful guy to his opponents. He doesn’t have an ounce of education. He wants to promote fights in [the] wrong way.
“I don’t care about that. I like to respond inside the cage, in my own way, kicking [expletive]. But if they (ONE) think he’s worthy to fight for the belt, I’ll educate him, for sure.”
The victory earned “Wonder Boy” a US$50,000 performance bonus and propelled him into the division’s #2 contender spot.
Even more importantly, it helped stake his claim to be next in line for a ONE Bantamweight World Title challenge.
However, that highlight-reel finish of Kwon did not faze Lineker.
As a dangerous striker himself, “Hands of Stone” expected one of the sluggers to go down, and he wasn’t surprised by Andrade’s victory.
The American Top Team representative said:
“To be very honest, I started to follow Fabrício just recently. What I saw in this fight [against Kwon] is that he knows how to focus. He managed to impose his strategy. I wasn’t impressed because he got a knockout. That can happen in [any] fight, especially between strikers. He’s a good fighter, but he didn’t impress me at all.
“I don’t know if he did enough to earn a title shot. It’s not for me to say if he deserves a title shot. I’m prepared, I’m ready to fight anyone in the division. If ONE thinks he deserves it, I’m here waiting.”
John Lineker Believes Showdown With Fabricio Andrade Could Win ‘Fight Of The Year’
A battle between John Lineker and Fabricio Andrade – two dangerous knockout artists – would surely deliver fireworks.
Both men are willing to exchange heavy strikes at the center of the Circle, and that’s a recipe for an explosive ending.
For his part, Lineker agrees that a World Title defense against Andrade would thrill fans – but he also thinks “Wonder Boy” has a long way to go before becoming worthy of the bantamweight belt.
“Today, I am the champion. That already answers your question. He’s a good fighter. I don’t belittle him in any way, but he still has a lot to learn.
“I believe it could be a great fight. A fight between two strikers is certainly very nice to see. It’s what fans like to watch, striking and punching all the time. If this fight against him happens, for sure, it will be a great show with a real chance of being ‘Fight of the Year.’”