Bantamweight contender John Lineker certainly lived up to his nickname Wednesday night in the main event of a UFC Fight Night event in Sioux Falls, S.D. “Hands of Stone” was relentless against American Michael McDonald from the start of their battle and within a few minutes, he was triumphantly calling out the current 135-pound champion.
Lineker pressured the taller McDonald immediately and dropped him with a winging right hook to the head. “Mayday” was able to get back up but he was felled again moments later. After Lineker backed off briefly to reset, he eventually turned McDonald’s lights out with a left hook and follow-up right hands to the head.
“I was very confident when I touched him,” he said after his triumph. “I am very confident in my knockout power and I knew that when I managed to start touching him, I was going to knock him out.
“Not everybody can withstand a knockdown like that and I really congratulate him,” he continued. “He’s a very tough guy but I knew I was going to get the KO.”
Lineker’s performance left McDonald face first on the canvas, completely removed from consciousness. It was the fifth win in a row for the American Top Team fighter and it was by far the most impressive of his still-blossoming career. With the win, though, Lineker believes he belongs in the opposite corner of 135-pound champ Dominick Cruz the next time he climbs through the Octagon’s door.
“I’m coming off three convincing wins and I think I deserve it,” he said. “I came here to please the crowd and that’s what I am happy to do. Dominick Cruz, I’m coming for you baby!”
Cruz hasn’t lost since 2007 and even though he’s had to battle through injuries and rehab, “The Dominator” has looked nearly unbeatable for years. He’s fresh off a win over arch rival Urijah Faber last month at UFC 199, and there are plenty of solid opponents waiting for a crack at the reigning titlist. Only time will tell if Lineker is the next in line.