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John Lineker vs. Jimmie Rivera set for UFC 219

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Bantamweight contender John Lineker has replaced former champ Dominick Cruz at UFC 219, and will take on Jimmie Rivera.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Sao Paulo-Lineker vs Vera Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

John Lineker’s wish has been granted.

Shortly after asking the UFC to be given the injured Dominick Cruz’s spot at UFC 219, against Jimmie Rivera, the UFC officially announced he will be on the December 30th card.

John Lineker (30-8) got back on the horse in his last outing, when he bested Marlon Vera via unanimous decision in October. Before that, he suffered a decision loss to T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 207, and also broke his jaw. So far, that’s Lineker’s only defeat in the UFC’s bantamweight division.

Jimmie Rivera (21-1) is still undefeated in his UFC career, with five straight wins over the likes of Marcus Brimage, Pedro Munhoz, Iuri Alcantara, Urijah Faber, and most recently Thomas Almeida. His sole professional loss came in November 2008, in his second pro bout.

The current UFC rankings have Rivera at #4 and Lineker at #5.

UFC 219 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg will defend her belt against Holly Holm on the same card, although it’s not yet officially the night’s main event.