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John Lineker puts UFC behind him, anxious for ONE debut: ‘They appreciate athletes better’

Former UFC flyweight and bantamweight contender John Lineker is eager to begin a new chapter of his career under ONE’s banner.

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Once a household name of the UFC’s bantamweight and flyweight divisions, heavy-handed John Lineker is eager to begin a new chapter of his career in Asia. Released from his previous employer early in 2019, ‘Hands of Stone’ already has his ONE debut scheduled for October, and looks forward to be a part of the new company for which he signed up.

In an interview with Ag Fight, Lineker expressed his opinions on fighter treatment, which he believes is much more valued in ONE than it ever was in the UFC, which seems to put John in the right mood to put on a show right on his debut.

“For what I’ve seen at ONE, they appreciate athletes better, as if I’m a samurai, a fighter,” Lineker said. “I’ll be more appreciated for my style of fighting, they enjoy it. I’m ready to give them a show, to show my work. It’s time to put the past behind me and move on with my life.”

ONE’s weight cutting policy was also a major factor when deciding where to move after his Octagon release. Infamous for missing weight on numerous occasions in the past, Lineker believes that the cut to 145, as opposed to 135, will make it easier for him to adapt to the promotion’s bantamweight division, without compromising his performance so much.

“All promotions should be like this, it preserves your physical integrity,” Lineker said. “I can train well this way. I’ll only have to cut 13 pounds, it used to be 30. It sure is a better method for everybody.”

In his last outing, John Lineker (31-9) dropped a split decision to Cory Sandhagen back in April. The loss snapped a two-fight winning streak for the Brazilian, with wins over Brian Kelleher and Marlon Vera.

Now, John Lineker is expected to take on Muin Gafurov at ONE Championship: Dawn of Valor, on October 26, in Jakarta, Indonesia. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a welterweight title fight between the champion, Zebaztian Kadestam and challenger Kiamrian Abbasov.

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