Some folks have questioned whether John Lineker can be as much of a force competing at bantamweight, and not flyweight, and clearly “Hands of Stone” plans to silence his doubters.
After repeatedly having issues making the cut to 125, Lineker elected to move up to 135 earlier this year, and faced Francisco Rivera. The 25 year-old proceeded to take Rivera out at UFC 191 in just over two minutes.
Well, recently bantamweight contender Bryan Caraway relayed that he wants to throw down with Lineker. In a follow up statement that the heavyweight handed fighter sent to MMA Junkie.com, Lineker said this:
“Truthfully, I’m honored that Caraway wants to fight me,” Lineker said. “I’ll graciously accept the fight if it fits the UFC’s purpose. I know it fits mine.
“I need another name in the division that I can knock out. People keep calling me small for the division, but as I continue to rack up these names, they’ll be calling me a giant at bantamweight.”
It’s going to be interesting to see how Lineker does competing at bantamweight. Rivera was certainly a tough test to face in his first bout at 135, as he is ranked #14 in the division. Caraway, however, is ranked #7, and the only man to defeat him since 2013 is top contender, Raphael Assuncao. So, in other words, if Lineker ends up fighting Caraway, and finishes him, he’ll be well on his way in terms of a title shot run.
Lineker made his way to the UFC in 2012, and since then he’s posted an impressive record of 7-2. If not for his issues making weight, he likely would have been tapped to fight flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson at some juncture.