Lineker talks about his fight strategy, how he didn’t expect fight to go to judges (w/Cervantes Analysis)

By Jonathan Cervantes, MMATorch contributor

John Lineker (photo credit Jason da Silva © USA Today Sports)

John Lineker won a close decision over John Dodson last night in Portland, Ore. in the main event of UFC Fight Night 92, which aired live on FS1.

In a backstage interview, Lineker discussed his strategy to utilize body shots to try to slow Dodson down and praised his durability. “I knew it was gonna be hard, but I did manage to land some body shots,” he said in a post-fight interview. “But he’s a tough guy and he took them.”

Asked about whether he expected the fight to go to a decision because of their knockout power, he acknowledged that neither he nor Dodson thought it would come down to the judges score cards. “Both of us thought it wasn’t gonna go the five rounds, but it happens,” he said. “That’s how fights are.”

Lineker said he believes he has earned a shot at the Bantamweight Title with this win, but is open to whatever the UFC wants. “I think I’ve proved to the UFC that I can do this,” he said. “I’ve been winning fight after fight, but if they think I need to win another fight I will.”

Lineker is currently ranked fifth in the UFC’s Bantamweight Division and is riding a six fight win streak.

Cervantes Analysis: The fight was very close and easily could have gone to Dodson. That coupled with the fact that Lineker has routinely missed weight in the past makes the company less inclined to grant him a shot when it would risk a title fight falling through. I think Lineker is in an odd place because he’s highly ranked and will likely continue to win but will need to prove that he can make weight on a regular basis. I would say he needs to prove it through three consecutive fights before being considered a viable option.

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