John Lineker added another knockout to his record on Wednesday night when he stopped Troy Worthen in the first round of the main event of ONE on TNT 3.
Lineker, who was initially scheduled to fight promotional newcomer and former Brave CF bantamweight champion Stephen Loman before he withdrew due to a positive COVID-19 test, welcomed the short-notice replacement in Worthen and went to work as soon as the bell rang. “Hands of Stone” immediately came forward and started unleashing hellacious body shots on Worthen.
A low blow led to a brief pause in the action, but it was not long before Lineker resumed his body-heavy attack on Worthen. The Brazilian knockout artist then began to move his way up and tag Worthen with flurries of punches to the face that would ultimately open up the path to victory for Lineker.
Worthen was able to land some solid left hands and leg kicks throughout the round, but it was not enough to deter Lineker. With about 30 seconds left, Lineker caught Worthen coming in with a straight right hand that put him on his back. Another right hand to Worthen put him out cold and the referee rushed in to officially stop the fight.
John Lineker remains your top bantamweight contender with a THUNDEROUS KO of Troy Worthen! @johnlineker @tntdrama @BleacherReport @BR_MMA @brlive #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship #ONEonTNT3 pic.twitter.com/DDLzTD4oND— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) April 22, 2021
Lineker moved to 3-0 under the ONE championship banner and secured his spot as the No. 1 contender in the bantamweight division. He took time in his post-fight interview to call for a championship opportunity against current bantamweight champion, Bibiano Fernandes.
“I came here to be a champion. I want Bibiano,” said Lineker. “I know that I’m better than him. I am the best and I showed the world that I will be the best in the world.”
The other fight on the main card was a flyweight affair between Yuya Wakamatsu and Reece McLaren. Wakamatsu was aggressive from the start and appeared to want an early finish, but McLaren was composed enough to try and implement his grappling-focused gameplan.
McLaren was able to secure some takedowns, but Wakamatsu would get back up and fire off some heavy shots. In the end, Wakamatsu was declared the victor by way of unanimous decision.
Here are the full results from ONE on TNT 3:
John Lineker def. Troy Worthen via knockout (punches) - Round 1, 4:35
Yuya Wakamatsu def. Reece McLaren via unanimous decision
Rae Yoon Ok def. Marat Gafurov via unanimous decision
Miao Li Tao def. Ryuto Sawada via unanimous decision
Nieky Holzken def. John Wayne Parr via knockout (kick) - Round 2, 1:23