John Lineker Gaurantees He’ll Look For Knockout In ONE Debut
Recently, we have a witnessed a number of UFC fighters taking their act to the Eastern side of the globe, by signing with Singapore-based promotion ONE Championship. The latest on the list is Brazilian athlete John Lineker.
The Brazilian signed with ONE two months ago after being released by his former promotion, much to the surprise of many. The 29 year old explained the decision behind choosing ONE whilst speaking to BJPenn.com.
“We had a few promotions interested, but ONE Championship was the right way to go economically, also their weight system, it really seemed like a better thing. Also, if you look at the type of fighters they have over there in my weight division, they’re strikers, which I really enjoy.”
Next month, Lineker will make his ONE Championship debut, as he is scheduled to meet Tajikistan’s Muin Gafurov inside the circle at ONE: Dawn Of Valor.
Ahead of the match up, Lineker has nothing but praise for Gafurov, who currently holds a five-fight win streak.
“He’s a great fighter, he’s very versatile. When he doesn’t do good in the striking department he tries to take the fight down.”
But the “Hands of Stone” already recognised his opponent’s possible game plan and promises to exploit it come fight night.
“He will not be comfortable in the striking department with me, and he’ll probably try to take me down, but I’m ready for it, [Striking] is what I like to do, I’m coming ready. I’m really looking forward to it and I want to put on a show for all of my fans to watch.”
Lineker also knows that many of the ONE newcomers from UFC had a rude welcome in their respective debuts by suffering defeat, however he vows to have a different result.
“I’ve seen some of the fighters that have migrated from the UFC [to ONE], but caution is not part of my nature, not a part of my personality, my story is going to be different.”
A win against Gafurov can give him an outright shot for the ONE Bantamweight World Title, which Bibiano Fernandes and Kevin Belingon will battle it out for on October 13th for ONE’s 100th event. But he is not looking past Muin.
“I want to take things step by step, of course,” he said of a potential ONE bantamweight title shot. If that opportunity arises, I’m going to be very happy with it, but I’m focused on taking things step-by-step, fight-by-fight.”
Finally, he assures everyone that he will give a show to the fans in his first ONE Championship fight.
“The only prediction I can guarantee is I’m going to look for a knockout as I always do.”
John Lineker vs Muin Gafarov takes place at ONE: Dawn Of Valor, which goes down on October 25th, at the Istora Sinayan in Jakarta, Indonesia.