While Linkeker respects his opponent, he says the pre-fight trash talk will only spur him on.
“Any opponent who talks nonsense about me only motivates me,” he said. “I’m more motivated to get in the cage and do my best. Opponents who do this kind of trash talk will regret it later because they don’t irritate me, but motivate me even more.
“I don’t like to talk, I like to go in the cage and fight. I’ll show him you don’t
win by talking, but show what you’re good at in the cage.”
Known for his “hands of stone,” Lineker expects the fight to be a masterclass in hitting – with a break to retain his title.
“This fight will definitely generate a lot of attention and will be very exciting. He’ll want to kick me a lot and get his knee in, but I’m prepared for anything, both punching and grounding. I see myself finished with him in the third round.”
Andrade is building a fearsome reputation and has put on record how much better his shot is compared to the champion. Linkeker is quick to recognize his opponent’s skills but is confident his experience and skills will be enough on October 22nd.
“He’s very good at the art of Muay Thai, but I think my boxing is very good. I know what I’m good at and I know what I’m capable of. But I don’t disagree with him. His muay thai is excellent, he’s a great fighter, but I have boxes that scare opponents, especially because of the weight of my hand.”
Andrade is on a seven-fight win streak, with the last five being in ONE. After ending his last three bouts with punches, knees to the body and a kick in the liver, his punching game is heralded as one of the best ever and he believes he has the weapons to trouble the champion and win the title to fetch.
“I think he’s a very predictable guy. There isn’t much of a mystery in his game. He’s an aggressive guy but from what I’ve seen in his recent fights he’s been more cautious. He was more conservative so I think I’m the most aggressive fighter in this fight.”
On the topic of trash talk, Andrade says it’s a vote of confidence and sends a message to his opponent.
“I think trash talk is necessary. I think that makes the fans even more excited for the fight and also helps to sell the fight better. Also, I think it all shows my confidence. Everything I say is what’s on my mind. And when I trash talk, I also see my opponent’s confidence level. They’re not saying the same thing, so I guess they’re not as confident as I am. And that gives me a sense of what’s going to happen in the fight.”
Ultimately, this is the biggest fight of Andrade’s career, and it’s an opportunity he’s eager to grab with both hands – and has the entire MMA world sit up and take notice.
“This became something very important to me. This is a fight that the fans are really looking forward to and I feel like all eyes are on me at the moment. I think this is my moment to put on a great show. This is the fight that everyone who doesn’t know me will know me.”
ONE Fight Night 3: Lineker vs. Andrade takes place on Saturday October 22 at 3pm KSA time at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur. This is a night not to be missed, so mark your calendars, download the ONE Super App and go to watch.onefc.com now!