It appears that ONE Championship's reigning bantamweight champion John Lineker has heard enough trash talk from the man many believe will be the first to challenge 'Hands of Stone' for his newly-won title.
At ONE: Light Out in March, Lineker shocked fans watching around the world when he brutally knocked out former champion Bibiano Fernandes to capture ONE bantamweight gold. Since then, Lineker has been waiting for a challenger to emerge. That challenger now appears to be Fabricio Andrade.
Following his 62-second body-kick knockout of Kwon Won Il at ONE 158, Andrade moved up to No. 2 in the bantamweight rankings, just one slot behind former champion Fernandes. This would make Andrade the logical challenger for Lineker's title and 'Wonder Boy' made it clear that he was coming for the championship next.
Following a callout in his ONE 158 post-fight interview, Andrade has also accused the champion of ducking him for years and cherry picking his own fights.
While speaking to ONE Championship, John Lineker said that he has no interest in getting into a verbal sparring session with Andrade, but would be happy to "educate" the "disrespectful" contender.
“I’m getting used to this type of athlete who likes to promote fights by disrespecting opponents. It just goes to show that he’s a disrespectful guy to his opponents. He doesn’t have an ounce of education. He wants to promote fights in [the] wrong way. I don’t care about that. I like to respond inside the cage, in my own way, kicking [expletive]. But if they (ONE) think he’s worthy to fight for the belt, I’ll educate him, for sure.”
John Lineker was not impressive by Andrade's knockout of Kwon Won Il at ONE 158
While the MMA community marveled at Andrade's impressive knockout against Kwon Won Il, John Lineker was far from impressed.
“To be very honest, I started to follow Fabrício just recently. What I saw in this fight [against Kwon] is that he knows how to focus. He managed to impose his strategy. I wasn’t impressed because he got a knockout. That can happen in [any] fight, especially between strikers. He’s a good fighter, but he didn’t impress me at all."
Though 'Hands of Stone' was not enthused by Andrade's fifth straight win in the promotion, he is more than willing to face Andrade should ONE determine that it is the fight to make.
“I don’t know if he did enough to earn a title shot. It’s not for me to say if he deserves a title shot. I’m prepared, I’m ready to fight anyone in the division. If ONE thinks he deserves it, I’m here waiting.”