Two weeks ago should’ve seen John Lineker in a rematch vs. Rob Font in the UFC Greenville co-main event. Instead, the Brazilian slugger withdrew at the last-minute with an apparent facial cut while cutting weight, and the UFC has since decided to cut him.
Lineker has been a fan-friendly fighter and a contender both at flyweight and bantamweight during his seven-year run with the organization, but this latest bout cancellation looks to have been the final straw for UFC matchmakers. Dana White spoke with TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter about the decision to boot “Hands of Stone” from the roster.
“It was because he hasn’t made weight a few times and I just know that the matchmakers were super frustrated with him,” White said. “The guy wasn’t being professional.”
“When you don’t make it to the Octagon a bunch of times it’s a waste of everybody’s time, energy, and money,” he continued. “We expect guys to be professional, do what they’re supposed to do. show up. The matchmakers were done, they’d had it.”
Lineker (31-9) has missed weight five times in his UFC career, although none of them ever resulted in actual fight cancellations. He did however withdraw from bouts against Font (June 2019), Cory Sandhagen (January 2019), Jimmie Rivera (December 2017), and Cody Garbrandt (February 2016) due to various ailments.
After losing by split decision to Sandhagen in April, Lineker then voiced his displeasure about not getting booked more often, going as far as to demand his release from the UFC. The four-time post-fight bonus winner accepted a short notice matchup against Font shortly thereafter, only to have it fall through on the eve of the weigh-ins.
Well, he did say “If you don’t like me or my style just let me go.” You could argue that he got what he wished for.