ONE bantamweight world champion John Lineker puts his title on the line against fellow Brazilian Fabricio Andrade at ONE Fight Night 3 keen to let actions speak louder than words.
The challenger has been vocal ahead of the clash which pits the experienced Lineker against the up and coming Andrade in what will be the first title defence for the 32-year-old.
A professional since 2008, Linkeker claimed his first world title in his last fight, defeating Bibiano Fernades with a stunning second round knockout to take the crown. Now he must face 25-year-old Andrade who is undefeated in ONE and has shown his versatility with devastating wins via his hands, feet, and submission in his five outings to date.
While Linkeker respects his opponent, he says the pre-fight trash talk will only spur him on.
“Any opponent who talks nonsense about me only motivates me,” he said. “I’m more motivated to get into the cage and do my best. So, opponents who do this kind of trash talk end up regretting it later, because instead of irritating me, they are motivating me even more.
“I don’t like to talk, I like to get into the cage and fight. I’m going to show him that you don’t
win by talking, but inside the cage showing what you’re good at.”
Lineker is known for his ‘Hands of Stone’, and expects the fight to be a masterclass of striking – with a stoppage to retain his title.
“This fight will definitely have a lot of striking, and it will be very exciting. He’s going to want to kick me a lot and come in with his knee, but I’m prepared for anything, both striking and on the ground. I see myself finishing him off in the third round.”
Andrade is building himself a fearsome reputation and has gone on the record to say how much better his striking is compared to the champion. Linkeker is quick to acknowledge the capabilities of his opponent, but is confident his experience and abilities will be enough on October 22.
“He is very good at the art of Muay Thai, but I believe my boxing is very good. I know what I’m good at, and I know what I’m capable of. But I don’t disagree with him. His Muay Thai is excellent, he’s a great fighter, but I have boxing that scares opponents, especially because of the weight of my hand.”
Andrade is on a seven-fight win streak with the last five of them being in ONE. Having ended his last three fights with punches, knees to the body, and a liver kick, his striking game is being heralded as one of the best around, and he believes he has the weapons to trouble the champion, and take the title.
“I believe he is a very predictable guy. There’s not much of a secret in his game. He’s an aggressive guy, but from what I’ve seen in his last few fights, he’s been more cautious. He’s been more conservative, so I believe I’m the most aggressive fighter in this fight.”
On the subject of trash talk, Andrade says it is a show of confidence, and sends a message out to his opponent.
“I believe trash talk is necessary. I think that makes the fans more excited for the fight, helping to sell the fight more as well. Also, I think it all shows my confidence. Everything I say is what’s in my head. And when I trash talk, I also see my opponent’s confidence level. They don’t say the same thing, so I believe they are not as confident as I am. And that gives me a sense of what’s going to happen in the fight.”
Ultimately this is the biggest fight of Andrade’s career, and it is an opportunity he is looking to grab with both hands – and make the whole MMA world sit up and take notice.
“This became something very important to me. This is a fight that the fans are really excited about, and I feel like all eyes are on me right now. I believe this is my moment to deliver a great show. This is the fight that everyone who doesn’t know me will come to know me.”
ONE Fight Night 3: Lineker vs. Andrade takes place Saturday October 22 3AM KSA time at the Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur. This is a night not to be missed so mark your calendars, download the ONE Super App, and go to watch.onefc.com now!