Last October’s clash between former ONE Bantamweight World Champion John Lineker and top-ranked Fabricio Andrade was a battle that certainly lived up to the hype, and the unfortunate ending only adds more excitement to the coming rematch.
The South American sluggers will run it back later this month on Saturday, 25 February, in the main event of ONE Fight Night 7, live from Bangkok, Thailand’s illustrious Lumpinee Stadium – and the vacant ONE Bantamweight World Title is up for grabs.
The rematch is sure to make for must-see TV, so let’s look at three reasons why you can’t miss this riveting rivalry.
October’s Fight Of The Year Contender
The main event of ONE on Prime Video 3 last October was a highly anticipated outing between the two Brazilians. Between the brawling behaviour of Lineker and the Muay Thai talents of Andrade, it was predicted that the two would mesh together with excitement.
The scenes that played out before us inside the Circle delivered high-octane action as the compatriots refused to fall to one another, resulting in a three-round war for the ages.
Despite the anticlimactic ending after Lineker suffered an accidental groin strike, many believed “Wonder Boy” had the upper hand and was on the verge of victory. Lineker, of course, states otherwise and, later this month, the truth between the two will be revealed.
The Heated Rivalry Finds No Resolution
While Andrade may only be 8-2 in his MMA career, his rise up the ranks quickly put “Hands of Stone” on his radar.
Prior to their first meeting, the 25-year-old felt his renowned opposition was ducking him, deeming Lineker a “chicken.” The war of words was mostly one-way traffic from the brash Andrade, as it was Lineker who insisted on biding his time to shut “Wonder Boy’s” mouth inside the Circle.
Andrade left the Circle last October fuming with the no-contest ruling, feeling on the brink of clinching the ONE Bantamweight World Title while insisting Lineker was looking for a way out.
With the history between them now hotter than ever, we can expect no love lost at ONE Fight Night 7.
The Vacant ONE Bantamweight World Title Looms Large
To add fuel to the flames later this month, the grandest prize in The Home of Martial Arts hangs high over the contest.
Lineker was stripped of the division’s crown after failing to meet the weight limit last October, which left Andrade the only party in the fight eligible to win it.
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This time, the World Title is anyone’s for the taking. It’s about who’s willing to be greater than the other and go that much further to clinch the crown. With the plethora of talent at hand between the two, the stage is set for a catastrophic collision in February’s firefight.