John Lineker finally claimed a World Championship in 2022, but by the end of the year, the gold was no longer around his waist. In August, the Brazilian got back in the win column with a buzzer-beating TKO over Kim Jae Woong. On Friday, September 29, Lineker will try to assert himself as the top contender for the ONE Bantamweight MMA World Championship against Stephen Loman at ONE Fight Night 14.
Loman has looked fantastic since joining ONE Championship. The talented Filipino athlete toppled former divisional king Bibiano Fernandes with seeming ease to put himself within striking distance of a title shot. The bout against Lineker could be what puts him over the top.
“Loman is a tough athlete, a guy who goes after his opponents all the time. He has shown that he also wants to fight for the World Title. He is a very versatile guy who fights well both standing and on the ground. I’m sure it will be a great fight, a very fun fight where we’ll put on a show for the fans,” Lineker told ONE.
Lineker already has immense respect for Loman. After watching him compete, he sees how talented the Team Lakay star is in every aspect. However, much like many of his opponents, Lineker expects him to rely on his wrestling.
“He has a very strong punch and works well with takedowns. Loman also has good ground-and-pound. He’s a guy who doesn’t stop, moves a lot, and who’s really hard to find in the cage. So, his strengths are his takedowns and movement,” Lineker explained.
Lineker never gets complacent. It is the mark of an elite athlete to learn from past mistakes. After an unexpected challenge from Kim in his last outing, Lineker knows he needs to be at the top of his game against Loman.
“When I faced Kim Jae Woong, I thought the fight would be fought standing up, just striking, and he surprised me by putting me down. So, taking this fight against Kim Jae Woong as an experience, I need to be prepared for all situations that may happen in the fight,” the Brazilian said.
Even though Lineker wants a shot at the gold and to redeem himself against Fabricio Andrade, he still plans to stay true to what brought him to the top of the division. Against Loman, “Hands of Stone” wants to add another knockout to his already impressive resume. A trilogy bout against his fellow Brazilian would seem to be in order if he can do it.
“I have heavier hands and more dangerous boxing. I’m going to use my boxing and my knockout power to look for another knockout victory. I enter a fight to knock people out, to put on a show. This fight will be no different. I will get the knockout one more time,” the former ONE Bantamweight MMA World Champion predicted.
ONE Fight Night 14 airs live on Friday, September 29, from Singapore. The action begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Prime Video. The event is free for all Amazon Prime members based in the U.S. and Canada.
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