The English superstar dominated Fabricio “Wonder Boy” Andrade to win the ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Title, adding the strap to his trophy cabinet alongside the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Title.
Andrade came into the bout holding the ONE Bantamweight MMA World Title and had produced knockouts in his past four wins, so many expected him to threaten “The General” over the course of five rounds.
However, Haggerty blitzed the Brazilian to earn a convincing second-round knockout in their battle at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
He told onefc.com afterward:
“It feels amazing. It’s a dream come true. Ever since I came to ONE Championship, that was the goal. One belt on one shoulder, one on the other, and we’re finally here.
“I would say [this proves I’m the undisputed best bantamweight striker in the world]. I don’t see anybody that has the skills that I have. I’m up there with the best in the world right now, and undisputed sounds great.”
Prior to Friday’s victory, Haggerty knocked out Thai legend Nong-O Hama to win the bantamweight Muay Thai belt, looking much stronger and fitter after a move up from flyweight.
And although he greatly respects Andrade’s achievements in MMA, “The General” told anyone who would listen that the Brazilian would not be able to handle his power – and he proved himself correct when they came to blows inside the ring.
Haggerty said of his pre-fight talk:
“I wasn’t surprised at all [that the finish happened so quickly]. I was gunning for the knockout. I’ve been saying all week that he will be knocked out.
“I feel like he knew himself that he was gonna be stopped and beat. He was just fronting it out and showing face, which is what you have to do as a fighter. You can’t show that you’re scared. You can’t show any weaknesses. But tonight was my night, and he shouldn’t have been in there with me.
“He’s a great striker. He showed it in his MMA fights. He’s a great champion, there’s respect there for sure. But I knew his striking wasn’t on my level. I will say it time and time again.”
Jonathan Haggerty Eager To Defend Muay Thai Belt Next
Already the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion before ONE Fight Night 16, Jonathan Haggerty wasn’t short of vocal challengers, but with a kickboxing belt now on the other shoulder, the callouts will be going into overdrive.
However, “The General” is clear about what he wants in the immediate future – and that’s to defend his World Title in “the art of eight limbs” to solidify his place atop the sport.
“I need to defend my Muay Thai belt first, that’s always the first on my list. The kickboxing title came up and I love a challenge so I took it, but I feel like I need to defend my Muay Thai belt now.
“You’re not the World Champion until you defend your belt. So, let’s defend this Muay Thai belt and get the show on the road.”
Meanwhile, Haggerty turned heads when he suggested he could go after Andrade’s ONE Bantamweight MMA World Title following their matchup on Friday.
“The General” had already teased a move into MMA for years, and although striking will always be his bread and butter, he’s eager to test the waters in the all-encompassing sport – especially if it means competing for three-sport gold.
The 26-year-old added:
“For sure, I’m up for [fighting Andrade for his World Title]. It’s 4-ounce gloves. Could you imagine if I fought him in 4-ounce gloves [this time]? It would’ve been a lot worse for him.
“It sounds great, but I’m in no rush. I’ll take it step by step and go with the flow. When it feels right I’ll go for it.
“Fabricio, if you’re seeing this, I’m coming for your belt.”