Fabricio Andrade had been insisting he was the true king of the bantamweight division even before his showdown with Kwon Won Il at ONE: Tawanchai vs. Larsen, but the Brazilian star's claims gained legs when the two squared off at the event last Friday, 3 June, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
It took only 62 seconds for the #4-ranked contender to state his case against #2-ranked Kwon. He frustrated him from the opening bell by moving in and out of the pocket, landing strikes before exiting his range.
Andrade looked in control and poised to put his stamp on the match. That came when he uncorked a kick that connected square with Kwon's liver. The South Korean was stunned by it at first, then he folded over and went down to the canvas.
The finish sent shock waves through the bantamweight division, the global fan base, and the ONE roster. The only person who wasn’t surprised by it was “Wonder Boy.”
“It was really good, you know. Actually, when I was warming up, I started to do some [kicks like this]. That morning, I had some training, and then I started to kick, and then my kick was really fast, you know,” he said.
“And then I told myself, 'I don't think he'll be able to see this kick coming to the ribs. No, he won't be able to defend.' And that's exactly what happened. And I just did the first one in the fight. And it [landed] right on his hips, and he didn't defend it. And then I said, 'Yeah, I'm going to finish this guy for sure.'”
The KO victory was the biggest of Andrade’s career, and his performance earned him a US$50,000 bonus from ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.
A win over a highly ranked and respected fighter like Kwon is special, and the money is a nice reward, but the Brazilian star sees a shot at the ONE Bantamweight World Championship as his true prize – and he has his eyes firmly set on it.
“I want John Lineker. I want the title. I want that gold, man. I deserve that gold. I have worked so hard for that. I know I can finish him. I deserve that gold, you know,” Andrade said.
“I want to finish John Lineker. I said after I finish John Lineker, I'm going to give him a chance, because I'm here to fight, and then I want to fight all the best contenders. So, after I win the belt, Loman can come and try to get it from me.”
In the meantime, download the ONE Super App to catch all the action at ONE 159: De Ridder vs. Bigdash on Friday, 22 July, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.