“I adapted well in the bantamweight division. The other guys are taller and stronger than me, of course, but I’ve fought at 135 [lbs] before signing with the UFC, so it was easy to adapt. I had great results so far, and I want to show that I’m capable of becoming the bantamweight champion… I hope [Cruz] remains champion because I’d like to fight him, but there are other fighters that are capable of winning the title before. But I want him to keep the belt. He never lost his belt. He got injured, but continued to be the champion even when [Renan] Barao won the title, so I’d make history with a win over him. Winning the title against someone else would also be huge, but it wouldn’t feel the same as taking it away from Dominick Cruz… I don’t think about going back down anymore. I only think about my future at bantamweight. But if [Demetrious Johnson] moves up, it would be great for the division, and I would be able to fight him. He sleeps and wakes up thinking that I could beat him, for sure. We are fighters and we have pride, so I think he would definitely move up and fight me.”
-UFC Fight Night 91 headliner John Lineker talks to Guilherme Cruz at MMAFighting.com about his current position in the UFC’s bantamweight division and why he thinks Flyweight Champ Demetrious Johnson would move up to face him.
Penick’s Analysis: Lineker beating McDonald would likely put him into a number one contender fight next, as T.J. Dillashaw should be getting his rematch with Cruz. He’s extremely close to that shot, and if he can beat Michael McDonald tonight it will be a massive push forward for him. He’s been very impressive at 135 lbs. thus far, and after beating a taller, lankier guy in his last fight he showed he can handle a lot of the attributes McDonald brings into this matchup in South Dakota. It’s a good headliner tonight on FS1, and a huge spot for both.
[Bill Streicher via USA Today Sports]
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