ONE Championship’s John Lineker is now a former bantamweight champ with the organization, after missing weight on Thursday ahead of an expected title defense at ONE on Prime Video 3.
Lineker (35-9) captured ONE’s bantamweight title when he knocked out Bibiano Fernandes earlier this year. At ONE on Prime Video 3 on Friday, he was expected to make his first title defense — but missed weight on his initial attempt Thursday, coming in 0.5lbs over the championship limit. Lineker did weigh in a second time, but at that point, had actually gained weight back and was 0.75lbs over.
The South China Morning Post was first to report the news, with ONE Championship officials subsequently confirming the development with Cageside Press. ONE’s weight classes are unique in MMA, as they do not allow fighters to dehydrate/re-hydrate to the same extent as other promotions. Fighters must pass a hydration test, which Lineker did, and the bantamweight limit for ONE is actually 145lbs as a result of the curtailment on weight cutting.
In other words, Lineker initially weighed in at 145.5lbs, then 145.75lbs on his second attempt.
According to a report by MMA Fighting, Lineker’s camp has cited an inaccurate hotel room scale as the reason behind the Brazilian missing the mark.
“When a fighter doesn’t make weight at ONE, he goes back to square zero because he has to make weight and pass the hydration test,” Lineker’s manager Alex Davis told the website. “That mistake happened because his scale was off in his room, lighter than the official one. When that happens, you have a second attempt to make weight but you have to pass the hydration test again. He couldn’t do it.”
Lineker’s miss at the scales is the latest in a string of high-profile incidents that have seen champions stripped of their title. In May, as is now well-known, Lineker’s countryman Charles Oliveira missed weight for a lightweight title fight against Justin Gaethje under the UFC banner. A tampered-with scale backstage was fingered as the culprit, but Oliveira was stripped of his belt regardless, and now looks to reclaim it this Saturday at UFC 280.
Last December, KSW champ Daniel Torres missed championship weight ahead of KSW 65, and had his featherweight title stripped as a result.