The bad blood between #3-ranked bantamweight Muay Thai contender Felipe Lobo and two-sport ONE World Champion Jonathan Haggerty is there for everyone to see, and “Demolition Man” is using it as a motivational tool ahead of their grudge match later this month.
The pair will throw down in the main event of ONE Fight Night 19 on Saturday, 17th February, when the Brazilian striker challenges Haggerty for the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Championship inside Bangkok, Thailand’s Lumpinee Boxing Stadium.
Both men have made it clear there’s no love lost between them. “The General” has been baiting Lobo for several months, including after he stopped his Tiger Muay Thai teammate, Fabricio Andrade, to claim the ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Title at ONE Fight Night 16 last November.
As a result, Lobo is fired up, and he intends to show Haggerty why he’s made a bad choice in calling him out.
“On the day of the fight with Fabricio, it was the same thing. [Haggerty] walked past me and said, ‘You’re next,’” Lobo detailed.
“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.
“This confrontation certainly increased my desire to face him. Especially because in the ring, he said I was a nobody. So, I want to show him who I am.”
Lobo came up short in his first bid for the bantamweight Muay Thai crown against former king Nong-O Hama at ONE X in March 2022. But after knocking out Saemapetch Fairtex at ONE Fight Night 9 last April, there’s little doubt he’s ready to challenge for the coveted strap once again.
Ahead of his second attempt to snatch the World Title later this month, “Demolition Man” says he's expecting a back-and-forth brawl that could go any which way when the bell rings.
He’s aware that Haggerty’s long stature has allowed him to dictate recent affairs and knows that he may have to let the Brit get into his stride in order to catch him off guard.
Should he succeed in doing that, however, Lobo is adamant he’ll shock the world, score a finish, and leave with the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Title over his shoulder – all while avenging Andrade in the process.
“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 said.
“But my prediction is to win this fight by knockout. I’m going to knock him out – that’s my prediction.”