John Lineker got his career back on track at ONE Fight Night 13. It had been derailed by Fabricio Andrade and the UFC veteran hadn’t tasted victory in well over a year.
But he finished Jae Woong Kim in dramatic style and Lineker believes he has earned a shot at the newly crowned bantamweight champion,
“I’m here to become a champ. I’m here to retrieve what’s mine. So, I certainly want Fabricio Andrade next. I think that if I fight him again, I’ll show him what I’m capable of.”
John Lineker 🇧🇷 knocks out Kim Jae Woong with 𝐅𝐎𝐔𝐑 𝐒𝐄𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐃𝐒 left in the fight! ⏱️
Tune in to Prime Video NOW to catch the rest of ONE Fight Night 13!#ONEFightNight13 | 🔴 Live Now
🇺🇸🇨🇦 Watch live on Prime 👉 https://t.co/lYPxqOKmsU
🌍 Live TV broadcast in 170+… pic.twitter.com/Badzb744pf
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) August 5, 2023
Having come in overweight ahead of his bantamweight bout with Kim he is not in a strong position when it comes to demanding title shots. But Lineker would almost certainly have picked up a performance bonus were it not for his struggles with the scales.
He could not have left it much later. The finish came with just four seconds remaining in the final round and Lineker was pleased with his performance,
“It was very gratifying when I came out with the victory. I’m very happy with this win.
Woong has a reputation as being a hard hitting fighter but he changed strategy for this match. Lineker admits this came as something of a surprise,
“He did surprise me. I didn’t expect him to come wrestling. He surprised me when he got me down, but I have a very good jiu-jitsu instructor. I managed to survive there, and the fight turned my way.”
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) October 8, 2021
Ahead of the fight with Woong he spoke about wanting to get back in the game. Lineker has definitely done that although it isn’t clear just how badly missing weight for the fight might have derailed that progress.
Lineker certainly wasn’t going to settle for a decision win. He was rewarded for trying to finish the fight right up until the final seconds and credits his coaches for encouraging him,
“I tried to knock him out until the end. My coaches told me I had to keep on going. I always go for the knockout. I don’t like to leave the fight in the hands of the judges.”
He didn’t realize just how late he had left it but says his corner gave him confidence,
“I didn’t know it was four seconds from the end, but my corner was telling me ‘believe, believe, believe’ and the knockout came.”
Him and Andrade have shared the ring for nearly seven rounds and there is no question that the current champion has got the better of them.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) April 25, 2019
Lineker’s seven ONE Championship fights have all taken place in Asia and he has won five of them. But the Brazilian thinks he has been disadvantaging himself by flying in too late.
Andrade is based full time in Phuket and Lineker believes that this has made the difference. If he gets the third fight then the UFC veteran plans to change his travel plans in order to level the playing field.
“I’m going to come earlier so I can fight on an even table with him. I’ve got to get here earlier. It’s very difficult to fight coming from Brazil in a short time and fighting people that live here.”
Andrade has a kickboxing title fight coming up and Stephen Loman looks like he might be next in line. But Lineker is still in the mix and the 33 year old is determined to recapture the belt he lost earlier this year.