Is John Lineker in Line for a Title Shot?
The Brazilian has been on top form since his move up to Bantamweight, but is he ready for a title shot…?
At Fight Night 96, John Lineker defeated John Dodson via split decision in a spectacular bout that is already being tipped for Fight of the Year. This marked Lineker’s sixth consecutive win, his forth since he stepped back up to Bantamweight. After putting away two highly rated opponents in Michael McDonald and John Dodson, some are speculating that Lineker may be the next man to face Dominick Cruz for the Bantamweight title.
However, it could be argued that Lineker is yet to face the best that the division has to offer. Let’s take Cody Garbrandt, for example. The 25-year-old is currently 10-0 in his MMA career and he notably ended Thomas Almeida‘s 21 fight winning streak by knocking him out in the first round. A bout between two heavy-handed knockout artists like Garbrandt and Lineker would be a scintillating match-up and could potentially determine the next title contender in the Bantamweight division.
On the other hand, former champion TJ Dillashaw will surely be seething with all of this speculation surrounding Cruz’s next challenger. Dillashaw has already gone after Garbrandt in an interview, claiming that he doesn’t deserve a shot at the title. He lost his belt to Cruz in a hotly-contested fight that went in Cruz’s favour via split decision. However, after beating Raphael Assuncao at UFC 200, Dillashaw now feels that he is ready to face Cruz again for the title.
With three strong contenders for the title, the Bantamweight division is hotting up fast and it will be very interesting to see who gets their chance next… Lineker, Gardbrandt or Dillashaw? Or even someone else in the Bantamweight division? Let us know what you think.