ONE Fight Night 19 will feature a firefight in the bantamweight Muay Thai division when Felipe Lobo challenges Jonathan Haggerty for the divisional throne in the main event of the Friday, Feb. 16 event.
The matchup has been at the forefront of Lobo’s mind since defeating Saemapetch Fairtex last year at ONE Fight Night 9 – mainly because his rivalry with Haggerty started that very night at the athlete hotel.
“[Haggerty has] been calling me since my last fight with Saemapetch. When my fight with Saemapetch ended, back at the hotel, he walked past me and said, ‘I liked watching you fight. You’re next,’” he told ONE Championship.
The war of words may have begun last April, but it started to boil in November, when “The Gerneral” knocked out Fabricio Andrade to claim the vacant bantamweight kickboxing strap at ONE Fight Night 16.
Lobo was in Andrade’s corner that evening, and Haggerty took aim at him following the win.
“On the day of the fight with Fabricio, it was the same thing. [Haggerty] walked past me and said, ‘You’re next,’” the Brazilian said.
“I said, ‘Let’s see what happens next time. I’m waiting for you.’ His coaches came and said a lot of things, but I couldn’t understand because everyone was talking at the same time. He likes to talk a lot. He is talkative.”
Spurred by the trash talk, “Demolition Man” has studied what makes Haggerty great. He been trying to identify where he can be the most successful on fight night, and ultimately thinks that his power will be the difference maker.
“He knows how to use his boxing very well. He moves forward all the time and kicks very well. Furthermore, he has good feints that I need to pay attention to so as not to be surprised. But I believe his strong point is his speed. He moves very well,” Lobo said.
“And his weak point is that he can’t take many hits. He’s very good at hitting, but when it comes to defending himself, protecting himself, he’s not so good.”
This World Title shot is the rising Brazilian star’s chance to become a household name. Although the task is tall, he isn’t letting the moment dwarf him and cloud his judgment.
Lobo is willing to do whatever is necessary on Feb. 16, but he wants to earn the emphatic knockout finish to become the division’s new king.
“Like I said, I think there will be a lot of striking in this fight. I’m preparing myself for everything, walking backward, moving forwards, to suppress, but I keep in mind that I can’t let him get comfortable in the fight,” he stated.
“But my prediction is to win this fight by knockout. I’m going to knock him out – that’s my prediction.”
ONE Fight Night 19 airs live on Prime Video on Friday, Feb. 16. The action begins at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST. The event is free for all Amazon Prime subscribers based in the U.S. and Canada.