John Lineker’s run as an MMA free agent was short-lived. Monday, it was announced that the Bantamweight competitor has been signed by Singapore-based ONE Championship.
MMAFighting first broke the news on Monday.
The signing by the MMA promotion comes on the heels of Lineker’s release by the Ultimate Fighting Championship early last week, which itself came on the heels of Lineker’s withdrawal from the June 22 UFC on ESPN+ 12 in Greenville, SC.
That night, the 31-9 Lineker, then the No. 10 contender, was scheduled to fight No. 12 contender Rob Font in the co-main event.
However, on the Thursday night of fight week, Lineker sustained a cut on his face as he tried to cut weight for the fight, which resulted in the fight being postponed.
Earlier last week, the UFC announced that Lineker was released.
UFC President Dana White was recently interviewed by Canadian sports television network TSN and cited a lack of professionalism on Lineker’s part as the rationale behind Lineker being cut by the UFC, saying:
“I think it was because he hasn’t made weight a few times and I just know that the matchmakers were super frustrated with him. The guy wasn’t being professional.”
Earlier this year, Lineker vented his frustrations with White via his Twitter feed:
In May, Lineker continued his requests for an opponent with this message:
My last opponent fought 4 times in a year. He already has another fight! Sean likes him! I have fought only 4 times since 2016! I need to fight! If you dont like me or my style just let me go!!! @MMAjunkie @seanshelby @danawhite @Alexdavismma @ufc @MMAFighting @sherdogdotcom
— John Lineker (@johnlineker) May 29, 2019
As of this writing, there is no word on who John Lineker’s first opponent in ONE Championship might be, but in the aftermath of Lineker joining the promotion, he has already issued a challenge to Demetrious Johnson for a fight.
Lineker and Johnson never fought head-to-head in the UFC.
Last fall, Demetrious Johnson was traded to ONE Championship by the UFC in a rare deal of talent between MMA promotions.
In exchange, ONE Championship dealt Ben Askren to the UFC.
Lineker reacted to the move to ONE Championship on his Twitter feed:
“ I will answer all the questions out there about myself in the Ring! People will be changing the channel to watch me fight! I will continue to do what I love! Fight and put on a show! Thank you 1 for having me! @Alexdavismma @ONEChampionship
— John Lineker (@johnlineker) July 8, 2019
Speaking of ONE Championship, its next event, ONE Championship: Masters of Destiny, takes place this Friday in Kuala Lumpur.
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