John Lineker made a very good case for jumping the line in the UFC Bantamweight Title picture on Wednesday night, knocking out former title contender Michael McDonald in perhaps his most impressive career performance.
The diminutive Lineker wasn’t about to let size be a factor in the UFC Fight Night 91 main event, and instead immediately came out aggressive against McDonald. He rocked McDonald early with a right hand, and never let up from there. McDonald fired back and did some significant damage of his own, but Lineker wouldn’t give him any space and continued to connect on ridiculous barrages until McDonald finally went out.
It was a ridiculously impressive victory for the Brazilian, and he called for a title fight with Dominick Cruz following the headlining victory.
In other action on the main card, Tony Ferguson found himself in a much tougher fight than he expected against newcomer Lando Vannata, but he walked away with a second round submission victory to move on in the lightweight field. Keita Nakamura and Louis Smolka added highlight-reel finishes over Kyle Noke and Ben Nguyen, respectively, to open the main card.
Penick’s Analysis: Lineker is still behind T.J. Dillashaw in my eyes, but there’s no other bantamweight who deserves a shot at that belt right now. He looked incredible in this fight, and it’s clear that even if he’s small for bantamweight he can compete with the best the division has to offer.
[Photo (c) Bill Streicher via USA Today Sports]
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