Just days after Charles Rosa was forced off the UFC 220 card, the UFC’s year-end show has taken a blow. John Lineker is off UFC 219.
The injury bug just had to rear its ugly head one more time this year. According to a report Sunday from MMA Fighting, top UFC bantamweight John Lineker has been forced to withdraw from the UFC 219 card. Lineker had been set for a highly anticipated bout with Jimmie Rivera. Lineker himself was actually a replacement for Dominick Cruz, Rivera’s originally scheduled opponent.
The reason for Lineker’s withdrawal has yet to be announced. The UFC has not commented on the loss of the bantamweight, and it’s not year clear if they’ll be able to find a suitable replacement on such short notice. The intent is to keep Rivera on the card if possible.
Lineker (30–8) is coming off a win against Marlon Vera at UFC Fight Night 119 in October. Prior to that, he suffered his first loss in the UFC as a bantamweight against T.J. Dillashaw.
Rivera (21–1) has not lost since 2008, and has won all five of his UFC fights to date. The bout with Cruz, and later Lineker, was expected to put him within reach of a title shot. Now, it’s uncertain as to whether he’ll even remain on the UFC 219 card.
UFC 219 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV on December 30. Women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg defends her title against Holly Holm in the main event.