Early next year, the exceptional MMA fighter from ONE Championship, John Lineker, nicknamed “Hands of Stone” in honor of the legendary boxer Roberto Duran, will face the challenge of competing in a Muay Thai event, putting his skills to the ultimate test on January 12, 2024. While Lineker embarks on a new chapter, he is still a ONE Championship legend with 47 bouts. Between brutal knockouts and improbable comebacks, here are the top five moments that have put John Lineker into legendary status.
5. John Lineker vs. T.J. Dillashaw
Lineker’s attempt to establish himself as a legitimate bantamweight contender in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) at UFC 207 proved unsuccessful. On December 30, 2016, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, he suffered a one-sided unanimous decision loss to former titleholder T.J. Dillashaw. Lineker struggled to defend against Dillashaw’s takedowns, conceding five in total. Despite subsequent victories against Marlon Vera and Brian Kelleher, Lineker’s defeat to Cory Sandhagen in April 2019 marked the end of his tenure in the UFC.
4. John Lineker vs. John Dodson
Lineker’s success in his inaugural appearance as a marquee attraction in the Ultimate Fighting Championship can be attributed to his power and volume. On October 1, 2016, with a capacity crowd at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon, Lineker reigned supreme in the main event of UFC Fight Night 96, defeating John Dodson through a split decision. Throughout the 25-minute affair, Dodson assumed the role of a matador, constantly retreating and circling away from the Brazilian fighter known for his heavy punches.
3. John Lineker vs. Michael McDonald
Lineker made an impressive debut in the main event of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) on Pay-Per-View and live-streamed at sports betting sites when he defeated Michael McDonald in the first round of their UFC Fight Night 91 headliner on July 13, 2016. McDonald could not withstand Lineker’s strikes and was knocked down multiple times. With relentless aggression, Lineker unleashed a series of punches until McDonald was defeated and lying face down on the canvas.
2. John Lineker vs. Francisco Rivera
Lineker executed a guillotine choke on Francisco Rivera during the first round of their intense bantamweight clash on the UFC 191 undercard on September 5, 2015, at the jam-packed MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Rivera succumbed to the choke at the 2:08 mark of Round 1. After a brief period of sizing each other up, the fight escalated into chaos as both bantamweights unleashed a barrage of punches against the cage.
Lineker, known for his durability, dropped Rivera with a powerful left hook and continued his assault with a series of follow-up strikes. Despite briefly getting back on his feet, Rivera fell victim to the guillotine choke.
This marked the Brazilian fighter’s return to the 135-pound division after experiencing difficulties cutting weight as a flyweight, and critics highly praised it. To this day, it remains the second shortest fight in UFC history to receive the prestigious “Fight of the Night” accolade, with only Donald Cerrone’s 76-second clash against Melvin Guillard at UFC 150 in 2012 surpassing it.
1. John Lineker vs. Louis GaudinotLouis Gaudinot, a Season 14 “The Ultimate Fighter” graduate, showcased his skills in an exhilarating UFC on Fox 3 flyweight prelim on May 5, 2012. The hyped bout went down at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. In the second round, Gaudinot executed a second-round guillotine, rendering Lineker unconscious.
The fight ended dramatically at the 4:54 mark of Round 2. Lineker displayed impressive striking before falling victim to the fight-ending choke, delivering powerful punches to Gaudinot’s head and body. The shots to Gaudinot’s midsection were particularly devastating, but the determined Team Tiger Schulmann export refused to back down.
Towards the end of the second round, Gaudinot executed a successful takedown and capitalized on Lineker’s vulnerability as he rose to his feet, securing the guillotine choke. Gaudinot maintained control by wrapping Lineker in full guard, patiently waiting for him to lose consciousness. This defeat marked the end of Lineker’s impressive 13-fight winning streak and tarnished his highly anticipated Octagon debut.
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