Bryan Caraway Campaigns for Number-One-Contender Bout with John Lineker, Vows to Stand With Him

By Tom Taylor - October 25, 2016

Earlier this week, it was announced that the next crack at Dominick Cruz’s UFC bantamweight title would go to undefeated contender Cody Garbrandt. This bantamweight championship bout will fill the co-main event spot of a stacked UFC 207 on December 30.

Given the way Cruz and Garbrandt match up on paper, and the fact that they’ve built up a pretty compelling rivalry over the last few months, the announcement of this matchup was pretty well-received.

Not everyone, however, was particularly thrilled by the news.

Dominick Cruz

One fighter who has not taken the news well, for example, is former champion TJ Dillashaw, who surrendered the title to Cruz in January of this year, and recently offered Cruz a $100,000 bet on the outcome of their rematch.

Another fighter that is not pleased by this announcement is Bryan Caraway. Instead of miring in his disappointment, however, Caraway has begun campaigning for a fight that he believes could earn him a shot at the winner of Cruz and Garbrandt’s December showdown: a scrap with fellow contender John Lineker.

The American bantamweight has been relentless in his pursuit of this fight on Twitter.

The reason for Caraway’s callout of Lineker seems to come down to a process of elimination. He believes TJ Dillashaw will attempt to wait for a shot at the winner of Cruz vs. Garbrandt and that Jimmie Rivera, another top-contender, still needs time to recover from a recent eye injury. This, then, leaves him with few viable choices other than Lineker.

Caraway also suggested he’d be willing to fight Lineker at UFC 206 by Retweeting a number of fan Tweets that called for just that. Given that this card, which is scheduled for December 10 in Toronto, is undeniably short on star-power, this bantamweight booking would surely be welcomed by the fans.

Finally, Caraway made the somewhat surprising assurance that if he’s granted his wish for a fight with Lineker, he’ll stand and bang with his brick-fisted foe. Given that Caraway’s bread-and-butter is his grappling, and that Lineker has finished 13 fights by knockout, this is a pretty ballsy promise to make.

If this fight occurs, Caraway will step onto the canvas with back-to-back defeats of Eddie Wineland and Aljamain Sterling behind him. Lineker, meanwhile, would enter this fight with the wind of six-straight wins in his sails, the four most recent of which occured at bantamweight.

Lineker McDonald

Would you be interested in seeing this fight? Who do you think would come out on top? Sound off, PENN nation!


Bryan Caraway John Lineker