A fan-favorite is no longer with the UFC, as John Lineker’s next fight will take place elsewhere.
MMA Junkie first reported the release of John Lineker. They added that Lineker’s team refused to comment on the release.
John Lineker was recently called upon to fill in for Cody Stamann in the co-main event of UFC Greenville in what would have been a rematch against Rob Font. However, he pulled out the day before weigh-ins due to a cut over his eyebrow. The odd timing of the cut had fans speculating that weight-cutting troubles were the real reason for Lineker’s withdrawal. The Brazilian had missed weight five times in his UFC career and was a repeated issue for Lineker at both flyweight and bantamweight.
“Hands of Stone” was 12-4 in the UFC with three Fight of the Night bonuses and one Performance of the Night. He was seen as guaranteed entertainment by MMA fans, making his release befuddling.
Lineker recently had a two-fight win streak snapped by up-and-coming contender Cory Sandhagen by split decision in April. His best run came in 2014 and lasted until 2016, during which Lineker won six straight fights with victories over former title contenders Michael McDonald and John Dodson. He was then matched up with former champion TJ Dillashaw in a number-one contenders fight, in which he was soundly beaten.
This could very well end up similar to the Yair Rodriguez situation. Rodriguez was cut after turning down a fight, but was re-signed to the promotion before fighting elsewhere.