‘The Toughest Guy I Ever Fought’ – Lineker Praises Andrade, Squashes Beef After War At ONE Fight Night 7
Former bantamweight MMA king John “Hands of Stone” Lineker is nothing but respectful following his loss to rival Fabricio “Wonder Boy” Andrade in the main event of ONE Fight Night 7: Lineker vs. Andrade II last Friday.
The Brazilian knockout artists went to war across four rounds for the vacant ONE Bantamweight World Title, with “Hands of Stone” ultimately unable to answer the bell for the final stanza after suffering a nasty cut above his eye.
Even though he came up short in his bid to reclaim the gold, Lineker is satisfied with his performance and happy to have competed in one of the most exciting World Title bouts in recent memory.
The 32-year-old said:
“Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the belt back, but I’m proud of myself. I gave my all in this fight. Fabrício is a very tough guy. He took blows that other athletes couldn’t take.”
Indeed, the main event battle was a back-and-forth slugfest.
In the opening round, Lineker appeared to hurt his foe with a flurry of thunderous punches. But “Wonder Boy” gamely fought back, and before long, he was battering his compatriot with thudding straight punches of his own.
In the end, Andrade’s other-worldly durability and fearlessness earned him 26 pounds of gold – along with Lineker’s utmost admiration.
“Hands of Stone” explained:
“I put a lot of hard blows, knockout blows, that he even was rocked. That’s why I was very surprised with his absorption of blows. Fabrício is a tough guy, and I’m sure we would fight until one of us fell.
“He’s a guy who doesn’t give up, and I’m a guy who doesn’t give up too. In the end, the winners of this war were the fans.”
Late in the fourth frame, Andrade landed a devastating series of strikes that left Lineker battered, bloodied, and with a huge open gash above his right eye.
Afterward, “Hands of Stone” recalled the fateful moments between rounds when the difficult decision was made to end the contest:
“The doctors were cleaning the cut and trying to get the swelling down in my eye, but unfortunately, I couldn’t see anything anymore. My corner asked me if everything was ok, and I said I couldn’t see anything. They talked to the doctor, and the doctor said that it was not possible to continue the fight.”
John Lineker Reveals Post-Fight Message To Fabricio Andrade
The rivalry between John Lineker and Fabricio Andrade had been steeped in animosity.
The war of words ramped up before their first fight – an action-packed October 2022 clash that ended in a no contest – and it reached a fever pitch before their rematch at ONE Fight Night 7.
But after more than 30 minutes of drama-filled combat, their beef has officially been squashed. Immediately following Friday’s bout, a heartbroken Lineker and an emotional Andrade exchanged words in the ring before the belt was presented to “Wonder Boy.”
When asked about that conversation, Lineker detailed the special moment he shared with the newly crowned king:
“I thanked him for the great fight we had. I said he deserved to be champion. I told him that he taught me a lot, that he showed me that I need to train more and more. I wished that God would bless him, that he would remain a champion, and that he would achieve everything he dreamed of in life.
“He also praised me, said that I was a reference for him in the sport, and that fighting me was something sensational. He apologized for the provocations, said he did it just to promote the fight, and that he admired me a lot. That’s it. I was happy to fight him. People always ask me who was the toughest guy I ever fought, and for sure, Fabrício is the first on the list.”