It’s obvious that UFC flyweight John Lineker has the talent to compete with anyone at 125-pounds. After knocking out Phil Harris in a one-sided affair at UFC Fight Night 30, “Hands of Stone” is knocking on the door of the elite in the division.
Problem is, he’s had a very tough making weight, missing it three times in his short UFC career.
But UFC President Dana White knows talent when he sees it. He believes that Lineker, who’s found a home training at Florida’s American Top Team, can challenge for the flyweight title. He just needs to get his cut down to a science, and that may include enlisting celebrated nutrition guru Mike Dolce:
“Dan Lambert, he runs the American Top Team down in Florida. He's probably one of the best guys in the sport and has been since before we owned this company. He hit us up tonight and said "let's get this kid down to Florida for training and get him on the Dolce Diet and make sure this kid can cut weight." He's so good that if he had made weight on the three times he's missed, he'd probably have a title shot right now.” via MMA Mania
Linker expressed his desire to stay at flyweight after his win on Saturday; he’s now going to have to make sure he can show up on point. Fighters who don’t make weight don’t tend to last long in the Octagon, regardless of their talent. The curious case of Anthony “Rumble” Johnson comes to mind.
Lineker has the knockout power to make any flyweight’s night a bad one, and he could be headed for a matchup with fellow knockout specialist and former title challenger John Dodson. If he makes weight and wins that fight, the UFC may feel he’s ready to contend for gold. But at this point, he’s a bit of a liability. “Hands of Stone” will control his own destiny. Let’s hope his massive talent isn’t wasted.