Reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion John “Hands of Stone” Lineker has heard enough trash talk from #2-ranked contender Fabricio “Wonder Boy” Andrade.
The 32-year-old Lineker – who captured the belt with a shocking knockout of longtime king Bibiano Fernandes in March – is raring to step back inside the Circle and silence his fellow Brazilian.
A showdown between “Hands of Stone” and “Wonder Boy” might be in the cards, as both mixed martial artists have been on a tear in ONE Championship.
Lineker has gone 4-0 since debuting in 2019, earning a unanimous decision victory and then three consecutive knockouts to claim the gold.
Meanwhile, Andrade has quickly climbed through the ranks with a 5-0 slate that includes three KOs and a submission. “Wonder Boy” has also made it a point to call out the bantamweight elite – even labeling Lineker a “chicken.”
“Hands of Stone” won’t get into a war of words with the younger Andrade, but he would love to teach the brash 24-year-old a lesson in humility.
The veteran told ONE Championship:
“I’m getting used to this type of athlete who likes to promote fights by disrespecting opponents. It just goes to show that he’s a disrespectful guy to his opponents. He doesn’t have an ounce of education. He wants to promote fights in [the] wrong way.
“I don’t care about that. I like to respond inside the cage, in my own way, kicking [expletive]. But if they (ONE) think he’s worthy to fight for the belt, I’ll educate him, for sure.”
In his latest fight, Andrade continued his rampage with an emphatic first-round knockout of fellow contender Kwon Won Il at ONE 158: Tawanchai vs. Larsen.
The victory earned “Wonder Boy” a US$50,000 performance bonus and propelled him into the division’s #2 contender spot.
Even more importantly, it helped stake his claim to be next in line for a ONE Bantamweight World Title challenge.
However, that highlight-reel finish of Kwon did not faze Lineker.
As a dangerous striker himself, “Hands of Stone” expected one of the sluggers to go down, and he wasn’t surprised by Andrade’s victory.
The American Top Team representative said:
“To be very honest, I started to follow Fabrício just recently. What I saw in this fight [against Kwon] is that he knows how to focus. He managed to impose his strategy. I wasn’t impressed because he got a knockout. That can happen in [any] fight, especially between strikers. He’s a good fighter, but he didn’t impress me at all.
“I don’t know if he did enough to earn a title shot. It’s not for me to say if he deserves a title shot. I’m prepared, I’m ready to fight anyone in the division. If ONE thinks he deserves it, I’m here waiting.” (ONE FC)
(Photo credits to: One Chmampionship)