There are several good, no, great fights to be had at UFC 169 in Newark, New Jersey, and this one is a standout bout in the flyweight division. Brazilian slugger John Lineker (23-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) fights Dagestan standout Ali Bagautinov (12-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) on the 2nd main card bout of the evening.
Lineker has been on a tear since dropping his first fight in the UFC, and for once he was able to make weight (but not before missing on the first try). His skills will be put to the test against Bagautinov, who is clearly the best fighter he's faced to date inside the Octagon. Bagautinov has looked a real threat to contend for a title, and his fight with Lineker should be a barnburner. The UFC 169 main card starts live on PPV at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT.
How do these two stack up?
Lineker: 24 years old | 5'2" | 67" reach
Bagautinov: 28 years old | 5'4" | 65.5" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Winning has not been John Lineker's biggest issue, it's making weight. He lost his debut to Louis Gaudinot in a FOTN thriller at UFC on Fox 3, but also missed weight and was forced into a catchweight bout. He's won his last 4, including 3 straight by knockout, but he's gone above the 126 lbs limit an astonishing 3 times in 5 UFC fights, and one more could see him out of the UFC regardless of the outcome tonight. The Brazilian has fearsome striking, high offensive output and aggression, and is generally exciting to watch, but his efforts could all be for naught if he can't straighten out his weight cuts.
Bagautinov has been a beast over the past few years. After a ho-hum 2-2 start to his professional career he's won his last 10, including both of his UFC fights against Marcos Vinicius and Tim Elliott, the latter an established top 10 flyweight. He has great all-around skills, good punching power, wrestling, and grappling. He was a gold medalist in the 2012 World Combat Sambo Championships at 57 kgs (roughly 125 lbs) and has the potential to be an absolute force in this division.
Why should you care?
Lineker needed two attempts to make weight this time around, so there might be more on the line for him than you think. Once is bad enough, but 4 times in 6 fights? Hard to become a title contender when you can't hit 125.
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