The 23-year-old Phuket resident put on a show in the ONE Championship: Unbreakable 3 card at Singapore Indoor Stadium on Jan 23 (broadcast last Friday, Feb 5).
In only his second fight for the promotion, Andrade used his striking to push the pace on the No. 2 ranked Bantamweight (65.8kg) in the promotion, Shoko Sato of Japan.
“I don’t know who the matchmaker is, but I want to say thank you because when a lot of people said I could not do [this], he was matching me up with the No. 2 contender and I came here today to tell everyone now you’ve got to watch me,” he said in the post-fight interview.
The fight wasn’t expected to go this way, considering Sato was coming into this bout on a six-fight win streak, and had dismantled his opponent in his last outing in January 2020 (a submission win in round one over Won Il Kwon).
Not to mention Andrade was unranked.
But from the opening bell the Brazilian showed just how fearless he was, using his kicks to set up powerful punch combinations. Considering Sato’s expertise in grappling, many thought he could catch Andrade’s kicks in order to put the Brazilian on the ground but this was not to be.
Peppering in those kicks, along with a precision counter-striking, Andrade was able to wear down Sato throughout the first round and a half, defending all takedowns, and using the clinch to keep Sato up against the cage.
Sato closed the distance in the second round, pushing the pace further, and stunning Andrade with enough to keep the round very close.
Andrade took back the momentum in the final round, setting up meaningful elbow shots. Not to be outdone, Sato moved in with some powerful uppercuts of his own to stun the Brazilian for some time.
Andrade’s training at Tiger Muay Thai & MMA Training Camp in Chalong was put on full display, using carefully-timed low kicks, and the clinch, although he admitted the fight was a lot tougher than expected.
“Sato is so tough,” he said in the post-fight interview. “I expected him to be tough, that was way more than I was expecting. He works very hard to get here. I train a lot. I fight a lot. I talk a lot to get people to watch me.
“I’ve just taken (out) the No. 2 contender, and I want the belt next.”
Andrade wasted little time after the fight to call for a title shot. Current ONE Bantamweight champion, and fellow Brazilian, Bibiano Fernandes hasn’t fought since October 2019, and the promotion has yet to announce his next fight.
As it stands, the No. 1 contender for the title is former UFC fighter John Lineker (also a fellow Brazilian).
Andrade has clearly emerged as another option for the promotion to book for Fernandes.
“I know a lot of people are going to keep doubting me, because that’s what they do, but I come here to do my job, and if you want to prove that I’m wrong, let’s see. I’m going to train hard, and I’m going to be ready,” he said in the post-fight interview.