Former UFC bantamweight John Lineker was once a part of the UFC but decided to switch promotions after signing with ONE Championship on July 8th, 2019. Making his debut with the UFC on May 5th, 2012, against Louis Gaudinot at 'UFC on Fox 3', the 30-year old Brazilian was submitted in just the second round of the fight. However, with only three losses against his name that came against notable fighters, 'Stonehands' seemed a durable opponent to beat.
Initially expected to face Dominick Cruz at UFC 233, John Lineker looked set to continue his respectable two-fight win streak. Going on to amass wins over the likes of Marlon Vera and Brian Kelleher, Lineker had his eyes fixated on the bout against Cruz. Unfortunately, due to the latter pulling out of the contest citing a shoulder injury, Lineker was rescheduled to face fellow bantamweight Cory Sandhagen at UFC on ESPN+ 1. Only this time, however, it was Lineker who was forced to pull out due to a rib injury.
When was John Lineker released from the UFC?
The fight with Sandhagen eventually did take place on April 27th, 2019, on the main card of UFC on ESPN+ 8. Losing the fight via a close split decision, John Lineker was then scheduled to face Rob Font on UFC Fight Night 154. Surprisingly enough, Lineker once again failed to come through with the fight. Withdrawing from the bout for an undisclosed reason, the UFC went forth and cut all ties with Lineker by releasing him from the organization on July 2nd, 2019.
While many speculate on the reason for Lineker's pullouts being injuries, it must be mentioned that he did fail to make weight on three separate occasions. After his release from the UFC, John Lineker quickly worked up a deal with MMA promotion ONE Championship. Making his organizational debut against Muin Gafurov, Lineker followed up with yet another emphatic victory against Kevin Belingon. After being slated to face former Brave CF bantamweight champion Stephen Loman in his next exhibition, John Lineker seemed prepared, once again, to dominate proceedings. However, with Loman having to bow out after testing positive for COVID-19, the replacement came in the form of Troy Worthen.
In only his third fight with ONE, John Lineker put a massive beating on Troy Worthen. Ending the fight quickly with a thundering overhand right, Lineker sent Troy crashing to the canvas before ending it with a flurry of punches. Calling out his next challenge in current bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes, Lineker said:
“I came here to be a champion. I want Bibiano to show that I’m better than him, and that I’m the best in the world."
Catch Linekar's stellar knockout finish of Troy Worthen right here!
Do you think John Linekar will go on to become ONE Championship's bantamweight champion? Be sure to leave us with your thoughts and predictions in the comments section below!