UFC veteran John Lineker came into ONE Championship having won eight of his last ten fights, all the while building a reputation as a ruthless finisher with very heavy hands.
After beating the highly-regarded Muin Gafurov in his promotional debut in October of 2019, Lineker now has the opportunity to put himself into position for a shot at the ONE bantamweight belt.
Lineker, who hails from Paranaguá, Paraná in Brazil is set to face former world champion and current No.1-ranked ONE bantamweight contender Kevin Belingon of the Philippines. The two will meet at the center of the ONE Circle in the main event at ONE: Inside the Matrix III, a previously-recorded event from Singapore scheduled for air on Friday, November 13.
Lineker has his eyes on the ONE World Title, and is looking to put together a statement-making performance.
“I am coming into ONE Championship prepared for anyone,” Lineker said. “I am ready to go against [Belingon]. I don’t think he can stop me. He is definitely one of the toughest opponents I have faced.”
“I am feeling great and ready for my next bout. My preparation for Belingon has been one of the best of my career, and I believe I am going to be able to show what I came here for, and that is to be the World Champion in ONE Championship.”
Both John Lineker and Kevin Belingon are known finishers. Nearly half of Lineker’s 32 victories throughout his career have ended with a highlight-reel knockout. Belingon, on the other hand, has earned himself a reputation for being a knockout artist, with some of the most explosive finishes in ONE Championship history.
Like the traveled veteran that he is, Lineker has done his due diligence, putting in the time to study Belingon ahead of their bantamweight showdown. The Brazilian puncher has definitely made his intent known, and that is to finish Belingon inside the distance.
“I studied lots of his videos,” Lineker said. “He seems to be a very versatile opponent. He likes to keep punching, he moves very well, but I think he is going to look for the exchanges. This is his style, just like mine. I’m going to look for a knockout in this fight and I know I can get the best out of the exchanges.”
“Maybe after our fight, I can win over some fans from the Philippines because of my performance.”
ONE: Inside the Matrix III is ONE Championship’s latest offering. The show includes performances from Belingon’s Team Lakay teammates, former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje Eustaquio, and rising strawweight star Lito Adiwang. Also on the card is the much-anticipated mixed martial arts debut of two-time former ADCC World Champion Yuri Simoes.
John Lineker hasn’t been shy about his plans, and maintains that he’s certainly coming after the bantamweight throne.
The reigning champion is none other than Lineker’s countryman, Bibiano Fernandes, who has established his dominance over the division with a handful of memorable victories over the past decade. Lineker hopes to set up an all-Brazilian showdown if he can beat Belingon.
“I want the world champion,” Lineker said. “I don’t think there would be a reason for them not to give him to me if I am fighting the #1 contender. And if I beat [Belingon], that should be the way to go.”
“I know Bibiano is a tough opponent, he has high-level jiu-jitsu, but no one can stop me at the moment. I know I have the edge. I am working really hard [to get that World Title], and I will get it.”