Fabricio Andrade accuses ONE champion John Lineker of ‘avoiding a fight with me’

Fabricio Andrade | ONE Championship

Fabricio Andrade hoped that demolishing Jeremy Pacatiw in just 97 seconds at ONE Championship, his fourth straight victory inside the circular cage, would have been enough to earn him a shot at bantamweight king John Lineker. Instead, he saw him name drop in the company’s rankings and the champion ignore his callout.

“I’ve challenged Lineker before,” Andrade said on this week’s episode of MMA Fighting podcast Trocação Franca. “He didn’t respond when I challenged him, but when [Kwon Won Il] called him out, he went there and accepted it in the comment section. I’ll beat the Korean and he’ll have to face me.”

Andrade meets Won Il at Friday’s ONE Championship 158 in Singapore, looking to finally secure a shot at gold in Asia.

“If he wanted to fight the Korean, he’ll have to fight me after I beat the Korean,” Andrade said of “Hands of Stone” Lineker. “I believe he’s trying to get fights that make more sense for him style-wise and avoiding a fight with me.”

Andrade fights out of Tiger Muay Thai in Thailand and has trained with the who’s who of the UFC over the past few years, like Petr Yan and Alexander Volkanovski. That, “Wonder Boy” said, showed his skillset is good enough to place him among the elite of the sport.

“I’ve been asking to fight Lineker for more than two years [because] he’s the biggest name in the promotion, especially in this division,” Andrade said. “He has a history and a big number of fans. If that fight happens and I knock him out, then my name will take off.”

Lineker clinched the ONE title with a second-round knockout victory over Bibiano Fernandes in March, going 4-0 in his post-UFC career. Andrade is currently ranked below Fernandes, Kwon and Stephan Loman.

“I was a bit sad when they updated the rankings because I beat the [Shoko Sato] when he was the No. 2, back in my second fight at ONE, and [Sato] already beat the guy I’m fighting now,” Andrade said. “After this fight, I don’t think there’s any other fight that makes sense other than me and Lineker.”

Andrade must get past Won Il first, though, and predicts a quick night in the office.

“I think [it ends] in the first round. Knockout,” he said. “He’s a good fighter with a striking background but he’s not very smart when he fights. Even though he’s bigger than me, he always moves forward, and that will give me more advantage in this fight. I also believe I hit harder than him.”

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