On Friday night, ONE Championship fans were treated to a can’t-miss rematch for the vacant ONE bantamweight world championship. No. 1 ranked contender Fabricio Andrade stepped into the ring at the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Thailand with the goal of capturing 26.4 pounds of gold.
Standing in his way was former titleholder and heavy-hitting veteran John ‘Hands of Stone’ Lineker. Running back their October 2022 bout that unfortunately ended in an anticlimactic no-contest, Andrade and Lineker delivered an edge-of-your-seat thriller in the ONE Fight Night 7 main event.
John Lineker came out and immediately began closing the distance to put his hands to use by attacking the body. Andrade throws a body kick and Lineker immediately moves in, snatching Andrade’s back and dragging him to the mat. Andrade worked his way back up and Lineker unloaded with a flurry of strikes to the body as Andrade worked his way out of the corner. Andrade utilized leg and body kicks to try and keep distance, but it only encouraged Lineker to rush in once again, briefly scoring another takedown. With two minutes left in the first, Andrade began to find his range, landing upstairs while buckling Lineker with a leg kick. Andrade began throwing knees to the body as Lineker continued to plod forward looking to drop a bomb. Andrade lands a stiff right hook that rocks Lineker. Smelling blood in the water, Andrade blitzes, but Lineker is saved by the bell.
John Lineker comes out firing in the second before attempting a fairly sloppy takedown attempt that doesn’t fool Andrade. Looping right-hand landed for Lineker. Andrade responded with a stiff leg kick and Lineker responds with another takedown attempt. Lineker is successful this time in getting Andrade to the canvas, but Andrade is able to pop back up with relative ease. Lineker begins chopping at the legs of Andrade but ate a jab for his trouble. 1-2 from Lineker followed by another left as he begins to slow. Andrade landed a big right hand followed by a 1-2 of his own. Lineker began to have trouble finding his target as Andrade continued to pepper him with jabs as the second round ended.
John Lineker continues to move forward in the third, swinging for the fences while Andrade continued to work the straight punches. Lineker rushed in for a double leg, but Andrade is able to sprawl and stay on his feet. Lineker landed a clean left hook, but Andrade eats it with little issue. Lineker lands a big right hand, but for every shot he connects with, Andrade is landing 3-4 jabs. Lineker lands another big combination that causes Andrade to wince, his right eye showing damage. With seconds to go in the round, Lineker rushed in for a takedown, but Andrade is able to reverse position and end up on top as the third-round bell sounded.
Going into the championship rounds, Lineker continued to fire heavy artillery, but Andrade ate everything thrown at him. Andrade continued to masterfully work the jab as Linker routinely looked to land his signature looping hooks. Lineker landed a left that had Andrade running for cover. As Lineker continued to pursue, Andrade threw a knee that landed low on Lineker, briefly pausing the action. Once the action resumed, Lineker attempt a single leg, but again failed to complete the takedown attempt. With a minute to go in the round, Andrade began loading up and busted open Lineker. Andrade swarmed in, hunting for a knockout blow, but Lineker once again was saved by the bell.
With the fifth round scheduled to start, John Lineker did not answer the call. Remaining on his stool, referee Herb Dean called off the bout. Commentator Mitch Chilson revealed on the broadcast that Lineker’s cornerman threw in the towel in between rounds as Lineker’s sight was compromised.
Official Result: Fabricio Andrade def. John Lineker via TKO (retirement) at 5:00 of Round 4
Check Out Highlights from John Lineker vs. Fabricio Andrade II at ONE Fight Night 7 on Prime Video Below:
Fabricio de Andrade stops John Lineker to take his title!!#ONEFightNight7
— MMA mania (@mmamania) February 25, 2023