Coronavirus Halts John Lineker’s Momentum In ONE Championship

John Lineker asked for his release from the UFC in a tweet a year ago. His main gripe being that he’d barely been active in a three-year span, despite wanting to fight. A month later, the Brazilian was released from the promotion.

Within days of being released by the UFC, ‘Hands of Stone’ signed a six-fight deal with ONE Championship, which had recently signed UFC veterans Sage Northcutt, Eddie Alvarez, Vitor Belfort and dominant former champion Demetrious Johnson.

Speaking to Bloody Elbow, Lineker explained his decision to sign with ONE Championship.

“That was one of the main reasons I signed with ONE. It was a good decision. ONE’s weigh-in system is very good. It ensures everyone comes in and nobody is way bigger than anyone else. Everyone is healthy. I felt great. Really happy. I hope other MMA events pick up on that weigh-in system because I can tell it’s a winner,” Lineker said.

“When things become stuck, we need to try and evolve. I think it was a good decision. I’m very happy with ONE and now I want to focus on my main objective which is becoming ONE Championship champ.”

However, Lineker’s only goal isn’t just to win the ONE bantamweight title. The father of five says he’s already planning an exit strategy from fighting.

“I think about it all the time (my financial future). Time goes on, we get old, injuries come up. I’ve been thinking about that every day,” Lineker said. “Raising some money, making investments, so that when I stop, my kids are all set. I hope we can have enough to remain retired.”

Lineker still has five fights left on his contract following a successful debut with ONE Championship. He defeated Muin Gafurov, by way of unanimous decision last October at ONE: Dawn Of Valor.

A second fight fell through due to the coronavirus, despite initial plans to hold closed-door events. Lineker was set to face Kai Wen Li (10-4), were it not for the global pandemic.

And Lineker for one, can’t wait to get out of his house and back inside the ONE Circle.

“Fighting is fun. It’s way harder to be locked in with a bunch of people.”

In the last week, ONE confirmed that they have postponed all of their events in May.

Do you think we’ll see John Lineker win the belt in the stacked ONE bantamweight division?


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