Jonathan Haggerty has had a stellar 2023. To start his year, the Brit upset Nong-O Hama to become the bantamweight Muay Thai king. On November 3, at ONE Fight Night 16, Haggerty bested Fabricio Andrade in a meeting of champions for the vacant ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Championship.
The newest two-sport titleholder in ONE Championship has been electric since finding his new home in the bantamweight division. If anyone questioned if his power would translate, the back-to-back knockouts have answered those emphatically. After taking out two extraordinary athletes to pick up his two gold belts, Haggerty is sure he is at the top of the food chain.
“It feels amazing. It’s a dream come true. Ever since I came to ONE Championship, that was the goal. One belt on one shoulder, one on the other, and we’re finally here. I would say [this proves I’m the undisputed best bantamweight striker in the world]. I don’t see anybody that has the skills that I have. I’m up there with the best in the world right now, and undisputed sounds great,” Haggerty told ONE.
Andrade believed that his history in kickboxing would give him the edge in the matchup. Although he showed himself well, a high kick from the Brit put him on skates and changed the complexion of the contest. Haggerty has been adamant that nobody is on his level currently, especially the ONE Bantamweight MMA World Champion.
“I feel like he knew himself that he was gonna be stopped and beat. He was just fronting it out and showing face, which is what you have to do as a fighter. You can’t show that you’re scared. You can’t show any weaknesses. But tonight was my night, and he shouldn’t have been in there with me. He’s a great striker. He showed it in his MMA fights. He’s a great champion, there’s respect there for sure. But I knew his striking wasn’t on my level. I will say it time and time again,” the new two-sport World Champion proclaimed.
After winning the Muay Thai title, Haggerty became the talk of the town. Rodtang Jitmuangnon, Superlek Kiatmoo9, Liam Harrison, and many others called him out. Now, with two titles, the bullseye will grow even larger.
However, Haggerty is ready for any challenge. After claiming the 26 pounds of kickboxing gold, “The General” wants to return to four-ounce gloves and defend the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Championship. He feels he has to cement himself as the true king of Muay Thai by defending the title.
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“I need to defend my Muay Thai belt first, that’s always the first on my list. The kickboxing title came up and I love a challenge so I took it, but I feel like I need to defend my Muay Thai belt now. You’re not the World Champion until you defend your belt. So, let’s defend this Muay Thai belt and get the show on the road,” the Brit stated.
But even with that said, the allure of three-sport gold is out there. After knocking out Andrade in kickboxing gloves, there is some buzz around a possible rematch under MMA rules. It is a prospect that Haggerty is interested in, but the Brit believes it will happen only when the timing is right.
“For sure, I’m up for [fighting Andrade for his World Title]. It’s 4-ounce gloves. Could you imagine if I fought him in 4-ounce gloves [this time]? It would’ve been a lot worse for him. It sounds great, but I’m in no rush. I’ll take it step by step and go with the flow. When it feels right I’ll go for it. Fabricio, if you’re seeing this, I’m coming for your belt,” Haggerty said.