Fabricio Andrade ran through the competition en route to becoming the ONE Bantamweight MMA World Championship. Emboldened by his success and kickboxing background, the Brazilian attempted to claim two-sport gold for the vacant ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Title against Muay Thai king Jonathan Haggerty. However, it was a swift defeat at the hands of the Brit.
While many may try to poke holes in Andrade’s attempt to grab gold in kickboxing, he is finding support in his teammates. ONE Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion Anatoly Malykhin was quick to give praise to his Tiger Muay Thai partner. The Russian was impressed that his friend would continue to challenge himself when he simply could have stuck to what brought him global fame.
Anatoly Malykhin on Fabricio Andrade: “he gave a show”
“[Andrade] showed courage. He could have just stayed in MMA, defended his belt, and not taken risks. But he took a risk, he gave a show. A lot of people watched that fight,” Malykhin told ONE.
ONE Championship has been known for crossover contests and superfights. Fans saw that when Andrade met Haggerty at ONE Fight Night 16. Malykhin applauded the promotion for seeking out these unique matchups but is ready to help his teammate put the result behind him as he prepares to defend the MMA title.
“Thank you ONE for such super-fights. The organization puts them together, and we watch these fights with fascination on TV, so let’s move on. It’s not a big deal. Soon, Fabrício will prove himself number one again,” the ONE Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion remarked.
The title tilt turned rapidly following a head kick from Haggerty. The Brit followed up and never let “Wonder Boy” recover before grabbing the stoppage finish. There are no excuses from Malykhin’s viewpoint. The Russian was clear that Andrade entered the match in excellent condition and was simply beaten by the better man.
“As for Fabricio, what went wrong? It’s a fight and he missed a punch, and after that, things just didn’t go according to plan anymore. He started missing other punches as well, and the referee stopped the fight. As for the training camp, Fabricio was training every day, sometimes two times a day, three times a day. He approached the fight in good shape, and he was recovering well,” the Russian stated.
If there is any takeaway from the two-division World Champion, it is that perhaps next time, Andrade should find more time to rest. The match against Haggerty had been scheduled for earlier in the year but was pushed back to a later date. Malykhin noted that while it gave his teammate extra time to prepare, he did not give himself much time to rest and recuperate.
“The only thing that could have affected him was the long camp. Fabricio had virtually no rest. He was in training for five to six months and could have gotten a little banged up from the training. That’s the only thing I see that could have affected this fight,” Malykhin said.