‘I Needed To Go Into Deep Water’ – Fabricio Andrade Reflects On Gutsy World Title Win Over John Lineker
Newly crowned bantamweight MMA king Fabricio Andrade is still basking in the glory of his World Title-winning performance against rival John Lineker in the main event of ONE Fight Night 7 on Prime Video.
On February 24, the two Brazilian knockout artists brought an incredible war to the fans in attendance at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Thailand and millions watching live around the world.
After four rounds of back-and-forth, high-octane action, Lineker was unable to answer the bell for the final frame, having suffered a fight-ending cut above his right eye.
With the dust now settled, “Wonder Boy” is able to reflect on his hard-fought crowning moment.
He told ONEFC.com:
“I thought my performance was very good. It was a very tough fight, where I needed to go into deep water. Lineker is the guy who’s given me the most trouble in ONE. And it was the first time I fought until the fourth round. I was prepared to fight the five rounds, so I think I had a great performance.”
Andrade has plenty to be pleased about. Early in the first, he took some heavy shots from “Hands of Stone,” only to answer back with his own strikes, battering the former titleholder through the middle stanzas.
The owner of three first-round knockouts since joining ONE, “Wonder Boy” is accustomed to opponents crumbling under his immense power and overwhelming offense.
However, Lineker gamely fought on, earning plenty of respect from the new ONE Bantamweight World Champion.
“If there was something that surprised me in this fight, without a doubt, it was his power to absorb blows. There was a moment in the fight when I landed 10 consecutive strikes on his face – strikes that would normally knock out any athlete, and he didn’t go down. This left me quite impressed.”
Despite his other-worldly toughness, Lineker eventually proved to be human. With his vision greatly impaired due to the swelling cut, his corner waved off the fight between rounds.
Andrade vividly remembers realizing the bout was over, knowing he had finally accomplished his dream of holding ONE Championship gold.
The 25-year-old recalled:
“I was ready for the fifth round. I was feeling really good. When the break time ended, my corners came down from the ring and I was waiting for the Lineker. I kept looking at him and he was taking his time to come back. Then I looked at his manager and saw him giving the signal to end the fight. That’s when I went out celebrating.”
Fabricio Andrade: ‘Next In Line Is Stephen Loman’
Fabricio Andrade didn’t make it out of his battle with John Lineker completely unscathed.
In fact, both athletes were transported to the hospital, where they briefly shared a friendly moment. Fortunately for “Wonder Boy,” his injuries were ultimately deemed minor.
“We were both badly hurt and ended up in the hospital. We met there quickly and we only took a photo. I was medicated, so I was already on another planet (laughs). And the result of the exams only showed that I broke a finger and will have to stay out of work for a few months.”
As he recovers and recuperates, the young Brazilian is already looking forward to his first World Title defense.
Andrade still sees “Hands of Stone” as the most dangerous threat, but he believes surging Filipino star Stephen Loman – who’s won three in a row against elite competition – is the most deserving next challenger.
“Wonder Boy” said:
“I think that Lineker, in my opinion, remains the toughest guy in the division. So, I think it will depend on the next fights. There’s already Stephen Loman in line, who beat [former World Champion] Bibiano Fernandes and should be the next to get a title shot.”
Never one to rest on his laurels, Andrade is already itching to return, even sending a message to “The Sniper.”
“I intend to fight as soon as possible, but it will depend on my recovery. I will do everything to recover quickly from this hand injury to get back up in the ONE Circle. And next in line is Stephen Loman. So he can start training now.”