Mark “Tyson” Fairtex Abelardo has experienced quite a lot of success in a relatively short amount of time.
Since his first appearance on Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series in July 2018, the New Zealand-bred mixed martial artist earned a six-figure contract to compete in ONE Championship and racked up four wins in six bouts.
But despite all that success, the seasoned veteran prides himself as a man who always learns from his mistakes.
With that in mind, Abelardo plans to integrate the strategy used by his last opponent, Troy “Pretty Boy” Worthen, when he faces promotional newcomer Fabrício “Wonder Boy” Andrade at ONE: NO SURRENDER in Bangkok, Thailand, on Friday, 31 July.
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“You can’t win them all – you just got to get better, prove yourself, and put on a better performance in the next fight, and that’s what I am about to do,” Abelardo says.
“Troy was very good. His game plan was to utilize his wrestling well, and that’s something I look to improve. I don’t want to be put on the fence like I was in that fight.
“I want to be the one doing that, and [against Andrade], I want to be the one putting on more pressure and looking to finish as usual.”
Indeed, Worthen’s ability to control the tempo was a major factor against Abelardo at ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE in February.
The Filipino-Kiwi normally presses the action, but he was stifled by his American rival’s wrestling from the opening bell, suffering a unanimous decision loss.
Now, Abelardo plans to overwhelm the debuting Brazilian in a similar fashion.
“I’ll be looking to mix it all up, both standing and on the ground. I want to pressure him everywhere and just look to break him,” the 28-year-old says.
“I want to utilize a lot of my wrestling, take him down when the opportunity comes, just wear him out, and look for the finish from there.”
Abelardo does acknowledge that Andrade’s powerful striking can turn off the lights with just one hit. “Wonder Boy” is, in fact, a Brazilian and South American Muay Thai Champion.
However, “Tyson” is also confident that the 22-year-old won’t be able to hang with him in the other facets of the game.
“He’s a high-level striker, but I don’t think he’s on my level overall. It’s mixed martial arts, so I’m going to be looking to mix it up, whether it’s standing or on the ground,” Abelardo says.
“I want to look for a finish like I always do. I want to wear him down, put some pressure on him, and look to finish him in the second or if not, the third round.”
With less than two weeks until event night, it’s clear the Fairtex representative is focused and he has a warning for Andrade before they meet in the Thai capital.
“I wish him all the best and for him to keep safe during training camp,” Abelardo says. “Because when the fight comes, I am going to bring it, so I hope he’s ready.”