UFC bantamweight John Lineker wants a title shot if he is to beat Cory Sandhagen this weekend at UFC Fort Lauderdale.
Lineker (31-8) has only been defeated twice in the last six years, however those losses both came against opponents who tested positive for EPO - Ali Bagautinov in 2014, and most recently former UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw this year.
The 28-year-old spoke to MMA Junkie earlier this week about Dillashaw’s suspension.
”I think T.J.’s absence really helped the division,” Lineker said. “It was pretty jammed up in the area around the title. So, with him leaving, the division moved along. And other challengers will have opportunities.”
Lineker is currently on a two-fight winning streak, taking a decision against Marlon Vera and knocking out Brian Kelleher in May of last year. “Hands of Stone” was supposed to face Sandhagen in January, but Lineker was forced to pull out with a rib injury.
“I’m going to ask – actually, I’m going to demand (the title shot),” Lineker said with the help of his translator during a media day on Thursday. “Because I think I’ve done enough and I think I deserve to fight for this title and I think the UFC should give it to me.”
UFC on ESPN 3 takes place this Saturday, April 27th, at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. A middleweight fight between Jacare Souza and Jack Hermansson will headline the card.