ONE bantamweight champion Fabricio Andrade steps out of his comfort zone at ONE Fight Night 16 as he crosses codes to kickboxing to challenge for the vacant ONE bantamweight kickboxing title on Friday, November 3, and he’s convinced he has the skillset to upset another of the promotion’s decorated striking champions.
Andrade takes on reigning ONE bantamweight Muay Thai champion Jonathan Haggerty for the vacant kickboxing crown at Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand in a bout that was pushed back from its original fight date of October 7. The change in date may have come as an unexpected surprise to Andrade, but the Brazilian is happy to be headlining a big card as he bids to become a two-sport champion.
“Of course, the date change was a little uncomfortable because I had already done all my planning to fight on October 7. But I agree that this is a fight that deserves to be the main event of a ONE card,” he said.
“So, I understood and received the news in the best possible way.”
Andrade faces Muay Thai champion Haggerty, whose all-action fighting style has made him a firm favorite with the fans who have followed his career since his arrival in ONE Super Series. The Englishman will post a stern test, with his arsenal of striking techniques, but Andrade said he’s ready to pit his own striking skills against “The General” on November 3.
“He is a very technical fighter, and that is one of his strengths. He works well on opponents’ mistakes,” he said.
“But I believe the strong point of his game is his feints to connect his elbows. But, as it will be a kickboxing fight, he won’t be able to use elbows. So, it will be interesting to see what different things he can bring to a kickboxing fight. But I think he will fight strategically and try to play an anti-game to prevent me from working on my boxing.”
Andrade said that he will demonstrate his striking power in the bout, and cited that aspect of his skillset as one area where he feels he has the advantage over Haggerty.
“My blows are more powerful. I have a lot of power in my hands and legs,” he said.
“And I think I’m also more used to the rules of kickboxing. I haven’t been fighting kickboxing for a long time, but I have been training it constantly. So, I believe I will have an advantage because of that.
“I will definitely be a big threat to him. As I said, I have a lot of power in my blows, and you could see in previous fights that Haggerty doesn’t assimilate blows from athletes who have a lot of power very well. This was clear in the [second] fight against Rodtang, where he was unable to find his footing in the fight. And I believe that with me, he will have the same problem.”
With both men having to step outside of their natural fighting habitats, Andrade sees the bout as a challenge to both fighters. But, given his own experience competing under kickboxing rules, the Brazilian believes he has the advantage where it matters as he looks to capture the vacant kickboxing crown.
“It’s going to be a very difficult fight for him,” he said.
“Haggerty has never done kickboxing, so he’s not used to the rules. As much as people say he has the advantage because I’m drastically changing sports, from MMA to kickboxing, something nobody wants to do, I think it’s going to be much more difficult for him.
“Even though he was knocked out by Rodtang, that defeat was in a division below. As we are a category above, there will be a big difference in power in the strikes. And I believe that I have much more punching power than the guys in the lower division. So, Haggerty will really feel the power of my punches in this weight division.”