John Lineker is among the latest group of fighters who have migrated from UFC to ONE Championship. Lineker has his first fight lined up as well which will take place on October 25th against Muin Gafurov.
The Brazil born fighter surprised a lot of people with his move to the Singapore based organization. Although he holds no grudges against his former employee, he still wishes to move ahead in life and look forward to new challenges. Speaking to BJPenn.com, he revealed his reasoning for joining ONE FC.
“We had a few promotions interested, but ONE Championship was the right way to go economically,” said Lineker. “Also their weight system, it really seemed like a better thing. Also, if you look at the type of fighters they have over there in my weight division, they’re strikers, which I really enjoy.”
Lineker has done his homework against his opponent and knows his tendencies. The Tajikistani Gafurov is a fairly decent striker, which is substantiated by his record of 16 wins.
“He’s a great fighter,” he said of Gafurov. “He’s very versatile. When he doesn’t do good in the striking department he tries to take the fight down. He will not be comfortable in the striking department with me, and he’ll probably try to take me down, but I’m ready for it,” he said.
“[Striking] is what I like to do,” he added. “I’m coming ready. I’m really looking forward to it and I want to put on a show for all of my fans to watch.”
Prior to Lineker, the record of fighters shifting from UFC to ONE FC is on the losing side for debut matches. Even former champ Eddie Alvarez suffered a TKO loss in his debut. Given such backdrop, one would expect Lineker to be a bit cautious. But Lineker instead prefers to be himself.
“I’ve seen some of the fighters that have migrated from the UFC [to ONE], but caution is not part of my nature, not a part of my personality,” he said. “My story is going to be different.”
A win his debut fight would bring him closer to a shot at the bantamweight title of the organization. While he doesn’t want to overlook Gafurov, John is still not ignoring his long term goals.
“I want to take things step by step, of course,” he said of a potential ONE bantamweight title shot. “If that opportunity arises, I’m going to be very happy with it, but I’m focused on taking things step-by-step, fight-by-fight. The only prediction I can guarantee is I’m going to look for a knockout as I always do.”