We now know that UFC 207 will be co-headlined by a men’s bantamweight title fight between reigning champion Dominick Cruz and streaking challenger Cody Garbrandt. Well, as it turns out, this co-main event won’t be the only high profile men’s bantamweight scrap on the December 30 card, as a bout between former champion TJ Dillashaw and stone fisted contender John Lineker was just made official for the event.
T.J. Dillashaw vs. John Lineker official for UFC 207! Boom!#UFC207
— UFC Tonight (@UFCTonight) November 3, 2016
The fight will serve as a nice consolation prize for Dillashaw, who had been ceaselessly campaigning for a rematch with Cruz. The two talented bantamweights first met in January of this year. On that night, Cruz walked away with a hard-fought split decision win, and the bantamweight belt. Since that razor close loss to Cruz, Dillashaw has rebounded nicely with a dominant decision win over former foil Rafael Assuncao on the undercard of UFC 200.
Lineker, meanwhile, was last seen in action in early October when he took a razor close decision from former flyweight title challenger John Dodson. Though he missed weight by half a pound for this October fight, the Brazilian puncher has established himself as a bona fide bantamweight contender with consecutive wins over Francisco Rivera, Rob Font, Michael McDonald and Dodson.
Though there are several other interesting contenders circling the bantamweight throne, such as Bryan Caraway and Jimmie Rivera, the winner of the Dillashaw vs. Lineker bout will probably be awarded a fight with the winner of Cruz and Garbrandt. The addition of this fight to the UFC 207 lineup also serves as a nice insurance plan. Should Garbrandt get injured, god forbid, the UFC will have two more war-ready bantamweights at their disposal, one of which can be pushed up to the co-main event to fill in against Cruz.
UFC 207 will be headlined by a women’s bantamweight showdown between reigning queen Amanda Nunes and returning former champion Ronda Rousey. The card will also feature a rematch between former heavyweight champions Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum, and several high profile welterweight bouts.
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