In the opening main card bout of UFC 163, John Lineker (22-6, 3-1 UFC) defeated Jose Maria Tome (33-4, 1 NC, 0-1 UFC) by second-round TKO. Tome got off to a good start and blasted Lineker with a spinning back-fist early, which had him stunned and wobbly on his feet. Tome followed it up with some more shots, but Lineker stood tall and weathered the storm. After Tome apparently injured his knee in the second round, Lineker attacked and earned the TKO victory.
It was the third win in a row for Lineker, who was thought to be near the front of the line for a Flyweight title shot with the win. The only problem is that he didn't make weight for the second time in his four UFC fights, which could be a major setback for his championship hopes.
What was the high point of the fight?
The spinning back-fist from Tome. He cracked Lineker right on the side of the head and came close to ending the fight right there.
Where do they go from here?
It's tough to say where Lineker goes. He probably won't get the elusive title shot for the reasons mentioned above, but he's clearly a force in the division. They can either set him up with Ian McCall in a top-level bout, or give him one of the two guys that are coming off title shot losses - John Dodson or John Moraga. But he absolutely has to make weight to stay out of the dog house.
It's too bad that Tome got hurt, because he was doing very well against Lineker. He seems like he could be a top-tier fighter at 125 pounds and hopefully he's not out for too long. I'd like to see him face off with Chris Cariaso next.
Watch now, later, or never?
Now. The first round had some great action and while the finish was a big letdown, the fight is well worth a watch.
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