At UFC 163: Aldo vs. Korean Zombie, John Lineker (21-6 MMA; 2-1 UFC) faces Jose Maria Tome (33-3(2) MMA; UFC Debut). This Flyweight fight will open the 5 fight PPV broadcast. Lineker is currently ranked as the #7 Flyweight contender in the UFC rankings, while the debuting Jose Maria is unranked. The UFC 163 PPV airs live from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this Saturday, August 3, on PPV with the main card starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
Like so many fights at UFC 163, this is one that has been impacted by injury. Lineker vs. Phil Harris was the original plan, but Harris stepped out and newcomer Maria stepped in. Injuries elsewhere on the card also earned these two a PPV main card slot. That's a good thing for these Flyweights. With champion Mighty Mouse having recently disposed of John Moraga, and no obvious challenger on the horizon, a big, impressive win here could mean a swift title shot.
How do these two stack up?
Lineker: 23 years old | 5'2" | 67" reach
Maria: 31 years old | 5'5"
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
John Lineker started his career in 2008 fighting on the Brazilian regional scene. A natural Flyweight, Lineker had a rocky start to his career as he was forced to fight outside of Flyweight. But since 2010, he's been on fire in first the Bantamweight and now Flyweight divisions. Lineker is currently on a 15-1 run, with his only loss coming to Gaudinot. A heavy-handed puncher, Lineker has rare power for a Flyweight, and has used it effectively in his last fights.
Jose Maria Tome (or just Jose Maria as the UFC is billing him), is a seasoned veteran of the Brazilian scene. Since making his debut in 2004, Maria has been a very active fighter - he's getting close to his 40th pro fight and is already 2-0 in 2013. He's also on a very impressive run, going undefeated since July 2008 with 16 wins. Maria's losses come against good quality opponents like Jussier Formiga and Leandro Higo. Maria may be a late replacement, but he is a very welcome addition to the Flyweight division who has the skills to turn some heads.
Why should you care?
I'm happy to see the Flyweights on the main card, and I am eager to see how Maria does in the UFC. Plus, possible title shot? I'm in.
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