Fabricio Andrade is pushed by challenges.
Andrade, also called “Wonderboy,” captured the ONE Championship bantamweight title by beating John Lineker in spectacular style in February. Now, he returns to motion Friday night time to pursue one other belt, difficult ONE Muay Thai champion Jonathan Haggerty for the vacant ONE bantamweight kickboxing title in Bangkok.
Andrade mentioned on MMA Combating’s Trocação Franca podcast that he was initially approached with the concept of dealing with Petchtanong Petchfergus for his belt, nonetheless the kickboxing champion was suspended and stripped of the title after testing optimistic for anabolic steroids metenolone and noldenone.
“Once they supplied me the chance to battle [Petchtanong], I had to consider it as a result of I’m extra energetic in MMA,” Andrade mentioned. “However the alternative to change into a two-sport champion, the primary one to cross over from MMA to hanging, me. Petchtanong ended up failing an anti-doping take a look at, and so they switched the opponent.”
Andrade most just lately competed in kickboxing in 2019. Whereas his MMA document sits at 9-2 with one no-contest, Andrade mentioned his kickboxing document stands at 29-1.
“On paper, most individuals will say [Haggerty] has the benefit as a result of there are much less variations going from Muay Thai to kickboxing then to come back from MMA,” Andrade mentioned. “However I feel the truth that I’ve fought kickboxing for therefore lengthy, it’s really simpler for me to recollect how I fought.
“It’s a bonus for me. He loses many weapons when he alters kinds, as a result of the issues he’s extra harmful at, like elbows and clinch and catching the leg, he can’t do this. Despite the fact that I’ve to coach wrestling and jiu-jitsu for all my MMA fights, I all the time focus extra on the hanging.
“The most important distinction this time is that I needed to adapt to shorter rounds, three minutes as a substitute of 5, and greater gloves. I favored it. It was a really lengthy coaching camp, and I had loads of time to adapt. I’m feeling very comfy. I’m remembering these days the place I fought kickboxing. I don’t have to fret about defending takedowns.”
Andrade mentioned the problem — and an opportunity to make historical past as a two-sport champion at ONE — are the only real elements that satisfied him to embark on this mission.
“The kickboxing purse is decrease than the MMA purse,” he mentioned. “I’m doing this extra for the problem itself, as a result of it’s one thing nobody has ever executed, greater than the monetary facet of it.”
Andrade mentioned his plan is to return to MMA after Friday’s kickboxing problem, and he’s open to pursuing extra belts sooner or later.
“There are numerous prospects in my weight class,” he mentioned. “I can battle kickboxing, Muay Thai, and MMA, in order that’s three champions already. And even boxing, one thing that has all the time me. I also can transfer up a division sooner or later to problem myself as effectively. It will be sophisticated for me to go down in weight, however to maneuver up, that’s positively a risk.”
Andrade believes Lineker will all the time be round as viable contender for his MMA title, particularly now that “Palms of Stone” rebounded from defeat with wins over Jae Woong Kim and Stephen Loman. He sees his fellow Brazilian because the Max Holloway to his Alexander Volkanovski, although, that means it would simply be too early for the trilogy.
“Lineker is a risk, he beat the man that was the following contender,” Andrade mentioned. “However I feel the truth that I simply beat him twice [editor’s note: the first bout was a no-contest] would make it extra attention-grabbing if I fought a brand new challenger.
“We would do the trilogy subsequent 12 months. For now, I feel it’s extra possible that I battle [Won Il Kwon]. I already defeated him, however he received his final battle. Lineker could be very powerful, and he’ll all the time be round, however it’s not attention-grabbing to do that trilogy proper now.”