John Lineker Thankful For UFC Release, Is Coming For The ONE Title
Since signing with ONE Championship, John Lineker has embarked on a two-fight winning streak. Most recently, knocking out Kevin Belingon at ONE: Inside The Matrix 3.
His ultimate goal is to become a world champion in the Home of Martial Arts. In order to achieve this, Lineker must first get past Troy Worthen, whom he faces in the ONE on TNT 3 main event on April 21st. He will then set his sights on the reigning ONE bantamweight champion, Bibiano Fernandes.
“I Want To Become A World Champion”
Speaking to Super Lutas (as translated by Bloody Elbow), Lineker said that he is focused on winning his bout at ONE on TNT 3 before potentially getting a title shot against Fernandes.
“I’m 100% focused on him (Bibiano),” said Lineker. “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.”
Multiple Struggles In The UFC
Prior to signing with ONE Championship in July of 2019, Lineker competed in the UFC. Although he went 15-4 inside the Octagon, he often struggled making weight. Despite being let go after a single loss to Cory Sandhagen at UFC Fort Lauderdale, ‘Hands of Stone’ prefers isn’t dwelling on the past.
“A bunch of factors [led to my release],” Lineker said. “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.
“A New Life And A New Home”
While most would consider his release unjustified, Lineker is actually thankful. Getting signed by ONE Championship within a couple of months of his release, the Brazilian found a new home to compete in and feels as if he’s been given a second chance.
“I took the release well,” said Lineker. “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.”
Lineker was originally scheduled to face Team Lakay’s Stephen Loman in the ONE on TNT 3 main event, but the former Brave CF champion tested positive for COVID on route to Singapore.
How does John Lineker fare against Troy Worthen at ONE on TNT 3?