John Lineker will return to action on Friday, August 4, at ONE Fight Night 13. The former ONE Championship bantamweight king is looking to get back in the win column after dropping his title and reaffirming himself as the division’s top contender. To do so, he will have to put away Kim Jae Woong.
The South Korean is also trying to get back into contention. But no matter who the opponent would have been for the upcoming date, Lineker is just happy to get back to work. He is focused on chasing the ONE Bantamweight World Championship again.
“What excites me the most about this fight, regardless of the opponent, is that I have the opportunity to get back in the game and pursue my goal, which is to fight for the title again. I think that whatever fight I do from now on, what will excite and motivate me is this opportunity to seek the title again. So, regardless of the opponent, my goal is to fight for the title again,” Lineker told ONE.
Since his loss to Fabricio Andrade in February, Lineker has returned home to recoup both his body and mind. Surrounded by the support of his family, “Hands of Stone” is reinvigorated for his return to the ring in Bangkok. Lineker has been in the gym to prepare for another title run, focusing on improving his all-around game.
“At the gym, we have been training more, focusing more on what I need to improve. I’ve been trying to perfect myself in everything, boxing, Muay Thai, and jiu-jitsu. I’ve been training a lot. And always focused on my goal, which is to come back strong for the game and fight for the title again,” Lineker explained.
The matchup with Kim could be in play for Fight of the Night. “The Fighting God” has a perfect 100% finishing rate in his ONE career, with three KO/TKOs under his belt. It is a perfect stylistic matchup for Lineker.
With the prospect of a striking battle, Lineker is excited to exchange four-ounce leather. Lineker expects an exciting show for the fans, with these two sluggers willing to keep the action on their feet. However, that does not mean he is taking the South Korean’s power lightly.
“[Kim’s] game is boxing. He plays more in the long distance. He’s very versatile, he works well on takedown defenses, and he’s also a guy who kicks a lot. But I believe that in striking, we will put on a show because we both like striking more,” Lineker stated.
The Brazilian bruiser expects to find success against Kim when the bell rings. He hopes that will lead to getting his hand raised and putting him a step closer to a rematch for the gold. According to Lineker, the line between winning and losing will come down to who can control the distance.
“I believe I’ll be able to fit my punches more, working hard on the punches in the waistline. As I said, he is a striker who works in the long distance, and I like to work more in the short distance. I believe that I can hit him more with my striking,” Lineker said.
ONE Fight Night 13 will air live on Friday, August 4, on Prime Video. The action will begin at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The event is free for all U.S. and Canadian Prime Video subscribers.