‘This Fight Will Show That He Didn’t Beat Me’ – John Lineker Confident For World Title Rematch With Fabricio Andrade
On Friday, February 24, “Hands of Stone” can do just that when he meets Andrade in the main event of ONE Fight Night 7 on Prime Video in a highly anticipated rematch for the vacant ONE Bantamweight World Title.
Lineker previously held the bantamweight crown but was forced to vacate it when he failed to make weight for his October 2022 bout against “Wonder Boy.” Still, the fight was a barnburner while it lasted.
Both Brazilians had moments of success in the action-packed MMA affair, although Andrade appeared to take control in the third round before delivering an unintentional low that shattered Lineker’s cup and resulted in a no contest.
Now four months later, “Hands of Stone” thinks his aggressive mindset is the main reason he wore so much damage when the contest ended.
“I watched my fight against him again. Inside the cage, it’s one thing. Watching it on TV you have another vision. The fact is that I let him land a lot of jabs, which ended up hurting my face a lot. I wasn’t feeling his punches so much. I wasn’t afraid of his punches, so I took those jabs and ended up getting a pretty bruised face.”
Many onlookers believed that Andrade was on the cusp of a victory when the bout concluded, as the low blow came just moments after a crushing knee to Lineker’s midsection.
But according to the former divisional king, he was never in serious trouble and was ready for 10 more minutes of furious competition.
“Hands of Stone” said:
“Other than that, the only thing that hurt was the knee to the rib and then he landed the knee in my groin. If it weren’t for that illegal move, he would have had to fight me for five rounds. And it would be a war until the end.”
Lineker: ‘I Noticed Some Gaps In His Game’
Despite the ending, John Lineker gained useful knowledge in his first encounter with Fabricio Andrade.
First and foremost, the 32-year-old plans to be more defensively sound in the rematch, while he also spotted some areas of weakness that he aims to exploit.
“I noticed some gaps in [Andrade’s] game. I also noticed his strengths, so in some way, it will help and I certainly won’t take as many hits as I did in the last fight. So, the fact that I’ve already fought him, I believe it can help with some aspects of the fight, like his movement and attacks.”
Fans can still expect to see the same ultra-aggressive, heavy-hitting approach that earned Lineker his longtime reputation as one of the world’s most entertaining MMA superstars.
In fact, “Hands of Stone” envisions another firefight on February 24.
“When I close my eyes, I see myself imposing my game, going up all the time, nonstop. And that’s what will happen. I’m training for this. One thing I never do in a fight is back off. I’m going to press all the time, and I’m going to do what I know how to do best, which is to fight.”
Ultimately, the veteran hopes to eliminate any doubts about his status as the best bantamweight on the planet.
That means shutting down his young, confident foe and proving wrong any fans who thought Andrade deserved to win the World Title in their first matchup.
“This fight will show that he didn’t beat me and that he wasn’t the one who took my belt. But like I said, none of us have anything to prove. We’re going to enter the cage, do our best, and in the end, we’ll see who will leave with their arms raised.”