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John
Lineker
’s reputation always precedes him.

The diminutive but dynamic 5-foot-3 knockout artist will attempt to
improve to 3-0 under the One
Championship
banner when he meets Troy
Worthen
in the
One on TNT 3
main event on Wednesday at Singapore Indoor
Stadium in Kallang, Singapore. Lineker has delivered 15 of his 33
career victories by knockout or technical knockout, six of them
inside one round. The former Jungle
Fight
titleholder last appeared at One Championship “Inside the
Matrix 3” on Oct 30, as he put away Kevin
Belingon
with second-round punches.

As Lineker prepares for his battle with the once-beaten Worthen, a
look at five of the moments that have come to define him:

1. Inauspicious Start

“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 graduate Louis
Gaudinot
rendered Lineker unconscious with a second-round
guillotine in an action-packed UFC on Fox 3 flyweight prelim on May
5, 2012 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Gaudinot
brought it to an emphatic close 4:54 into Round 2. Before being
ensnared in the fight-ending choke, Lineker did some excellent work
on the feet, unleashing power punches to the head and body. The
shots to Gaudinot’s midsection were particularly devastating, but
the green-haired Team Tiger Schulmann export refused to wilt. He
scored with a late takedown in the second round and trapped Lineker
in the guillotine as he rose to his feet, the highly regarded
promotional newcomer leaving his neck exposed. Gaudinot then
wrapped the Brazilian in full guard and waited for him to black
out. The loss snapped a career-best 13-fight winning streak for
Lineker and spoiled his long-awaited Octagon debut.

2. Buying in Bulk

Lineker tapped Francisco
Rivera
with a guillotine choke in the first round of their wild
bantamweight battle on the UFC 191 undercard on Sept. 5, 2015 at
the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Rivera yielded to the
choke 2:08 into Round 1. A brief feeling-out period gave way to
utter insanity, as the two bantamweights let loose with rights and
lefts against the cage before the iron-chinned Lineker cut down the
Californian with a left hook and swarmed with follow-up blows.
Rivera eventually rose to his feet, only to be met with the
guillotine choke. Lineker then secured full guard, tightened his
squeeze and waited for the tapout. It marked the brick-fisted
Brazilian’s return to the 135-pound division following several
weight-cut failures as a flyweight, and it received rave reviews.
To this day, it is the second-shortest fight in UFC history to earn
“Fight of the Night” honors, only trailing Donald
Cerrone
‘s 76-second battle with Melvin
Guillard
at UFC 150 in 2012.

3. ‘Mayday’ Issues Mayday

In stepping into the main event spotlight for the first time under
Ultimate Fighting Championship employ, Lineker punched out Michael
McDonald
in the first round of their UFC Fight Night 91
headliner on July 13, 2016 at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in
Sioux Falls, South Dakota. McDonald folded 2:43 into Round 1, as he
succumbed to strikes for the first time in more than seven years.
Lineker bided his time on the outside and waited for an opening. He
blasted McDonald with a left hook to the body and rolling right
upstairs that resulted in the first of multiple knockdowns. Lineker
did not allow the Californian to clear his head. Another left hook
dropped McDonald to his knees, and the Brazilian let his hands go
until “Mayday” was face down on the canvas.

4. Marquee Attraction

Power and volume gave Lineker his recipe for success in his first
assignment as a marquee attraction in the Ultimate Fighting
Championship, as he eked out a split decision over John Dodson
in the UFC Fight Night 96 main event on Oct. 1, 2016 at the Moda
Center in Portland, Oregon. All three cageside judges scored it
48-47: Marcos Rosales for Dodson, Sal D’Amato and Glenn Trowbridge
for Lineker. Dodson played matador for much of the 25-minute
affair, retreating and circling away from the notoriously
heavy-handed Brazilian. He landed at a far more efficient clip than
Lineker, but his lack of output proved costly. Dodson outstruck
“Hands of Stone” 101-94 but threw 132 fewer strikes. The fight was
likely won and lost in the middle rounds: Lineker outlanded the
Jackson-Wink MMA mainstay in the second (16-15) and fourth (27-22)
while equaling him in the third (15-15). No matter how one sliced
it, it was undeniably close.

5. Something Less Than Elite

Lineker tried and failed to move into position as a true
bantamweight contender in the Ultimate Fighting Championship at UFC
207, where he dropped a lopsided unanimous decision to former
titleholder T.J.
Dillashaw
on Dec. 30, 2016 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. All
three cageside judges scored it 30-26 for the favored Dillashaw.
Lineker conceded five takedowns in the three-round affair, as his
cagy counterpart steered clear of his light-switch punching power
by pinning him to the canvas repeatedly. Dillashaw grounded the
Brazilian in all three rounds and outstruck him by a 177-51 margin
that included a 71-38 spread in significant strikes. He paired
positional control with ground-and-pound throughout the 15-minute
affair, mounted Lineker in the second round and had grown so
confident by the third that he even attempted a calf slicer. Though
the brazen maneuver did not achieve the desired result, the writing
was on the wall. Lineker rebounded to defeat Marlon Vera
and Brian
Kelleher
in subsequent appearances, but an April 2019 defeat to
Cory
Sandhagen
closed the book on his time in the UFC. He was
released by the organization some three months later and signed
with One Championship as a free agent.


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