New Zealand's Mark Fairtex Abelardo returns early tomorrow morning when he takes on Brazil's Fabrício "Wonder Boy" Andrade at ONE: No Surrender, which goes down in Bangkok, Thailand. This will be the first event ONE Championship has held since the outbreak of Covid-19.
The pair's bout is a 67kg catchweight matchup, and this will be Andrade's first outing under the ONE banner. The 22-year-old Brazilian fights out of Tiger Muay Thai, and is still a relative novice when it comes to competing in MMA rules.
"I'll be looking to mix it all up, both standing and on the ground. I want to pressure him everywhere and just look to break him," Abelardo said when talking about the fight.
"I want to utilize a lot of my wrestling, take him down when the opportunity comes, just wear him out, and look for the finish from there."
The 28-year-old Abelardo is looking to bounce back following a unanimous decision defeat to the USA's Troy Worthen back in February.
"Troy was very good. His game plan was to utilize his wrestling well, and that's something I look to improve. I don't want to be put on the fence like I was in that fight. I want to be the one doing that, and [against Andrade], I want to be the one putting on more pressure and looking to finish as usual," Abelardo said.
While Abelardo respects Andrade standup, he is confident that when it comes to MMA, the two men are levels apart in terms of ability.
"He's a high-level striker, but I don't think he's on my level overall. It's mixed martial arts, so I'm going to be looking to mix it up, whether it's standing or on the ground."
A win over Andrade will take Abelardo's ONE record to 3-2, and keep him within touching distance of the top five who make up the ONE Bantamweight rankings.
NZ fans will be able to watch Abelardo in action tonight at 12:30 am live on Spark Sports.
Written by Michael Clifton
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