‘He’s Making The Wrong Decision’ – Haggerty Expects To Overwhelm Andrade In Kickboxing World Title Fight
Jonathan Haggerty’s ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Title challenge took some fans by surprise, but it was always on his agenda.
Although the reigning ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion has competed exclusively in “the art of eight limbs” since entering the organization, he’ll go for gold in a second sport at ONE Fight Night 15 on Prime Video in U.S. primetime.
“The General” will face reigning ONE Bantamweight MMA World Champion Fabricio Andrade – who is also chasing two-sport glory – for the vacant kickboxing crown at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Londoner knows that his success in Muay Thai has allowed him to jump the line, and he’ll gladly take on the division’s top contenders if he adds the new strap to his collection on Friday, October 6.
“I was coming to the bantamweight division to take over, and I think it’s fair to say I’m getting there.
“I’ve said it in previous interviews, but I wanted the kickboxing belt on one shoulder and the Muay Thai belt on the other. I’ve said that throughout my career, and it will become a reality.
“There’s great opposition in the kickboxing division. I’ll win the belt, and I’m happy to defend it against anyone. I’m just there to fight whoever they put in front of me.”
Some athletes might worry about not having the chance to tune up under a different rule set, but the ever-confident Haggerty is not fazed by the opportunity to go straight for the World Title.
While he’s grown accustomed to the smaller 4-ounce gloves in Muay Thai and is renowned for his chopping elbows, “The General” thinks his style can blend seamlessly into the kickboxing ranks.
“Kickboxing’s not a problem with me. I’ve always liked kickboxing. I’ve got more of a kickboxing style and a Muay Thai style at the same time. I’m not just a traditional Muay Thai striker. All we’re missing out on are the elbows, but I’m sure we can catch Fabricio with a short right hand instead.
“I’m a fighter. I get in there and I adapt to anything, so I’m excited for it. I’m excited for the big gloves, too. It’s going to be a lot of fun and a new challenge. It’s going to take a lot more to knock him out, but we will get it done.”
Haggerty Plans To Defeat Andrade, Then Go After His MMA Belt
Jonathan Haggerty is shifting over to kickboxing from Muay Thai, but Fabricio Andrade is making an even bigger leap from mixed martial arts.
Andrade is certainly experienced in the stand-up arts and competed successfully in different styles before committing full-time to MMA, but it’s been four years since he last had a striking-only contest.
Without denying “Wonder Boy’s” prowess on the feet, Haggerty simply believes it will be too difficult for Andrade to return to kickboxing against an opponent of his caliber.
“Fabricio’s been in MMA now for three-to-four years, so I feel like it’s going to be a bit difficult for him to change over to the kickboxing style. I’ve been on my feet all my life, so I’ve got the advantage.
“I feel like it’s going to be a good fight. A tough fight. We’re excited for it. He’s making the wrong decision coming over to my world, but we love a trier.”
Haggerty has also teased a move into MMA in the past, and he sees this matchup as the potential start of his transition.
He’ll have his hands full with Muay Thai and Kickboxing World Title challengers if he does overcome Andrade, but “The General” is hoping to return the favor and switch codes if he defeats the hard-hitting Brazilian in Bangkok.
“Once I win the kickboxing belt against him, I’m definitely going to be calling him out for his MMA belt.
“He feels that he can step over to our world, so after I take this kickboxing belt, I want to come for his MMA belt, for sure.”