The rematch that has everybody talking goes down on Saturday, 25 February.
John “Hands of Stone” Lineker and Fabricio Andrade will lock horns for the second consecutive time at ONE Fight Night 7 inside Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
The highly anticipated rematch follows last October’s initial firefight that ended in an unfortunate no-contest following a low blow to Lineker, which only added more fuel to the fire for their second encounter.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at three keys to victory for Fabricio Andrade at ONE Fight Night 7.
Utilize His Reach Advantage
There is an array of talents to be studied when watching a fighter the calibre of Andrade. Since transitioning to mixed martial arts from Muay Thai, “Wonder Boy” has brought with him his excellent striking, managing to find the perfect pedigree to rise to the top of ONE’s bantamweight division.
A tool utilised efficiently against the former ONE Bantamweight World Champion last October was his reach. Slightly towering “Hands of Stone,” Andrade let his jab and front kick reign supreme.
It allowed Andrade to avoid a lot of Lineker’s heavy artillery and land the cleaner, crisper, sharper combinations over the course of three rounds. The same style should be put forward again, only this time the 25-year-old should pick his entries and exits a little bit smarter to avoid as much fighting in the pocket as he can.
Pressure, Pressure, and More Pressure
The Brazilian contender has only been to the third round in his ONE tenure once before, and this time he looked better than ever in doing so. The pressure he put on Lineker was what brought on the final moments of the bout.
Just before the illegal blow that forced the anticlimactic finish, Andrade put his compatriot on the backfoot mercilessly. This forced Lineker to attempt another takedown in close range, allowing Andrade to meet the 32-year-old’s solar plexus with a beautifully timed knee.
Andrade should be expected to keep the high velocity of strikes and speed coming, which will only cause Lineker trouble en route to the World Title.
Make Strong Use of Combinations
A fantastic skill possessed by Andrade is inside his striking. While it may be his bread and butter, it has also grown exponentially inside the Circle as he adapts his craft for MMA competition.
While the jabs and front kicks have kept his opposition at bay, the brutal bantamweight should unleash more combinations unto Lineker than seen prior. His mixture allowed him to make a very good account of himself in the first fight, but there were moments where Lineker managed to escape.
Mixing up his attacks with high kicks and straight rights with the pressure placed on his nemesis will only liken his chances of an emphatic finish this time around.