Former UFC bantamweight and flyweight contender John Lineker holds no grudges over his release from the promotion back in 2019. After missing weight four times in his stint and dropping a split decision to Cory Sandhagen in his last outing for the company, ‘Hands of Stone’ was cut and promptly picked up by ONE in July of the same year.
Now with two wins under his belt at his new home, Lineker wants nothing but to become a champion in the new promotion. Before he has the chance to take on title-holder Bibiano Fernandes though, John will have to get past his next challenge, Stephen Lomar, on April 21. Nonetheless, the Brazilian tells Super Lutas that his final goal will always be to win the belt.
“I’m 100% focused on him (Bibiano). I only have one more step ahead of me. I’m very determined to win my next fight, because Bibiano is my final target. I want to be become a world champion. I’m very excited for that.”
Despite being cut from the UFC after just one loss, Lineker tells Super Lutas he has no problems with the way the company handled things. In fact, John believes the decision was fair and does not think much about it anymore. Instead, he prefers to focus on what is ahead of him, not behind.
“A bunch of factors (led to my release). It started when I was going to fight Cody Garbrandt, but I got dengue fever and the fight was cancelled. The UFC lost a lot on that, because it was a really important fight for the division. Then I was going to fight Jimmie Rivera, but I got some bacteria. So lots of things that were beyond my control happened. The UFC started to give me the cold shoulder because of that. I went a long time without a fight and it was bad for me. I have a family, five kids. I need to work a lot. I started getting upset. I went as far as telling them to let me go if they were unhappy with me. Then they booked a fight, I got injured and they decided to cut me.”
“I took the release well.” Lineker continued. “It was fair. I can’t complain. I can only thank them for the seven years I spent in the UFC. It changed my life. I was able to better provide for my family. Now it’s a new life and a new home.”
John Lineker (33-9) left the UFC with a 12-4 record, scoring wins over notable names during his time, such as Ian McCall, Rob Font, John Dodson and Marlon Vera, among others. Nowadays, the 30-year-old rides a two fight winning streak at ONE, with victories over Muin Gafurov and Kevin Belingon.
Now, John Lineker is expected to take on former Brave Combat Federation bantamweight champion Stephen Loman at ONE on TNT 3’s main event, on April 21. The card is scheduled to take place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, in Singapore.
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