As it happened it was, but not in the manner he wanted. A stomach churning low blow, which broke the cup of Lineker rendered him unable to continue, and the match a no-contest.
It was a disappointing end to a highly anticipated fight – and one which added fuel to an already fierce rivalry, to one with genuine bad blood and scores to settle.
Andrade believes the three and a half rounds the two spent in the circle together will have had a lasting effect on his opponent and offers a psychological advantage heading into this weekend’s matchup at ONE Fight Night 7 in Bangkok.
“I think the fact that I came very close to ending the fight, that he was badly hurt in the fight, and that I defended all his attempts on the ground, makes a difference in the psychological factor,” said Andrade. “He knows I’m better than him. His chance of winning this fight is if something extraordinary happens. But we know that I’m the best athlete, that this is my moment, and that I’m going to be the champion.”
In the lead up to the first fight there was lots of attention on Lineker’s weight, Andrade doesn’t expect it to be an issue this time round – and is planned to end things early when they finally meet again.
“He will definitely be more attentive with this weight issue. Nobody likes to be on time and not make weight. No one wants to look unprofessional. So, I believe he will be aware of his weight so that it doesn’t happen again.
“That doesn’t interfere with anything. I’m not worried about that. If he doesn’t make weight again, we’re going to fight anyway, and I’m going to knock him out.
“This fight will end in a maximum of two rounds. And it will definitely end with me knocking out John Lineker one more time.”
On a stacked card, this is a standout fight, and one not to be missed.
ONE Fight Night 7: Lineker v Andrade takes place Saturday February 25 4am GST at the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, Bangkok. This is a night not to be missed so mark your calendars, download the ONE Super App, and go to watch.onefc.com now!