Fabricio Andrade backed No.1-ranked bantamweight contender John 'Hands of Stone’ Lineker to end Bibiano Fernandes’ run as the division king. The Brazilian duo meet in the co-main event of ONE: Lights Out on Friday, March 11.
The No.4-ranked fighter points to Lineker’s recent triumphs in the Circle as clear proof as to why he thinks the knockout specialist can leave the Singapore Indoor Stadium next month with a special win.
Ahead of the pair’s showdown, Fabricio Andrade told SCMP MMA:
“Honestly, now I think I would pick Lineker to win the fight. Just for the moment, he’s in right now. He’s coming like, he’s more active, he’s coming off good wins you know, I think I’d pick him to win the fight.”
Lineker and Fernandes’ battle was scheduled to take place in the main event of ONE: Bad Blood on Friday, February 11. Unfortunately for Fernandes, the challenger was forced to withdraw from the contest after reportedly testing positive for COVID-19.
Now that a new date has been agreed, both men are eager to settle the score.
‘The Flash’ returns for his first world title defense since October 2019. In his last outing in ONE, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist forced long-time rival Kevin ‘The Silencer’ Belingon to tap to a rear-naked choke in the second round.
Meanwhile, ‘Hands of Stone’ has racked up three wins to earn a shot at the bantamweight gold. The Brazilian fighter scored a clear-cut unanimous decision win over Muin Gafurov on his debut. He followed up the victory with two successive knockouts against Belingon and Troy Worthen.
Fabricio Andrade would love to test himself against John Lineker
Should Lineker outclass Fernandes at ONE: Lights Out, Fabricio Andrade admits that he would love to test himself against the man known for putting opponents to sleep.
He told SCMP MMA:
“I like striking. I’m a striker. So I think a fight against Lineker would be very entertaining for the fans. But also, Bibiano would be a good challenge for me, you know. I think any of those guys would be a good matchup for me. I think my game is going to be a big problem for him [John Lineker].”
Like ‘Hands of Stone’, Fabricio Andrade loves to take out rivals with his striking arsenal.
The young star has already amassed two knockouts on the global stage. One came against Li Kai Wen and the other was at the recently concluded ONE: Full Circle versus Jeremy Pacatiw.