Fabricio Andrade has been the ONE Championship  bantamweight champion for less than two weeks but he already knows what is next. The Brazilian believes he beat ‘the toughest guy in the division’ last month.

Andrade stopped John Lineker to win the belt. Next in line is the #2 ranked Stephen Loman and the champion feels the Filipino has earned a title shot,

“I think that Lineker, in my opinion, remains the toughest guy in the division (but) there’s already Stephen Loman in line, who beat Bibiano Fernandes and should be the next to get a title shot.”

That fight won’t happen for a while though. Andrade shared a photo of himself on a hospital bed with the belt and a heavily bandaged right hand.

Out of work

It turns out he suffered a broken finger during the fight that will keep him out of action for ‘a few months’. Andrade was photographed in the hospital with Lineker who had suffered several cuts to his face,

“We were both badly hurt and ended up in the hospital. We met there quickly and we only took a photo. I was medicated, so I was already on another planet! And the result of the exams only showed that I broke a finger and will have to stay out of work for a few months.”

Andrade definitely isn’t in a position to begin a training camp. But he will be back in action as soon as his finger has healed and advises Loman to start training now,

“I intend to fight as soon as possible, but it will depend on my recovery. I will do everything to recover quickly from this hand injury to get back up in the ONE circle. And next in line is Stephen Loman so he can start training now.”

Deep water

Lineker’s corner decided that their fighter had taken enough punishment and didn’t send him out for the fifth round. Andrade admits he was surprised at just how many of his shots the UFC veteran managed to absorb,

“If there was something that surprised me in this fight, without a doubt, it was his power to absorb blows. There was a moment in the fight when I landed ten consecutive strikes on his face – strikes that would normally knock out any athlete, and he didn’t go down. This left me quite impressed.”

Having finally captured the belt he had plenty of reasons to be cheerful. Overall Andrade feels that the win over Lineker represented a ‘great performance’,

“It was a very tough fight, where I needed to go into deep water. Lineker is the guy who’s given me the most trouble in ONE and it was the first time I fought until the fourth round. I was prepared to fight the five rounds, so I think I had a great performance.”