John Lineker has no complaints about the events that led to his release from the UFC.
Lineker was cut by the Las Vegas-based promotion in 2019 after he had to pull out of his rematch with Rob Font due to injury. That was despite the Brazilian coming off just his fourth defeat — notably to current top-ranked contender Cory Sandhagen — in 16 outings for the UFC.
One big reason was the fact that Lineker was struggling to make fights for various reasons as he explained in a recent interview with Super Lutas (via Bloody Elbow).
That said, he’s thankful to have competed for the UFC as it changed his life for the better.
“A bunch of factors (led to my release),” Lineker said. “It started when I was going to fight Cody Garbrandt, but I got dengue fever and the fight was cancelled. The UFC lost a lot on that, because it was a really important fight for the division. Then I was going to fight Jimmie Rivera, but I got some bacteria. So lots of things that were beyond my control happened.
“The UFC started to give me the cold shoulder because of that. I went a long time without a fight and it was bad for me. I have a family, five kids. I need to work a lot. I started getting upset. I went as far as telling them to let me go if they were unhappy with me. Then they booked a fight, I got injured and they decided to cut me.
“I took the release well. It was fair. I can’t complain. I can only thank them for the seven years I spent in the UFC. It changed my life. I was able to better provide for my family. Now it’s a new life and a new home.”
Now at ONE Championship where he is 2-0 following victories over Muin Gafurov and former champion Kevin Belingon, “Hands of Stone” is targeting Bibiano Fernandes’ bantamweight crown.
However, Stephen Lomar comes first who Lineker meets on April 21.
“I’m 100% focused on him (Bibiano). I only have one more step ahead of me,” Lineker added. “I’m very determined to win my next fight, because Bibiano is my final target. I want to be become a world champion. I’m very excited for that.”