The main event of UFC Fight Night 96 caused most mixed martial arts (MMA) fans to think of one question. “Who will knock out who?” The question was posed with good reason. If you were to combine the number of professional knockouts from John Lineker (29-7) and John Dodson (18-8), you’d get 22.
While that number didn’t increased, fans were greeted to an exciting 135-pound (kind of) scrap. In the end, it was Lineker who was given the nod.
Dodson kicked the leg of Lineker to get the fight underway. Lineker connected with a punch to the body. A body kick landed for Dodson under his opponent’s punch. “The Magician” looked to use his speed to get in and out. He landed a head kick, but Lineker didn’t seem deterred. “Hands of Stone” landed a left hook. Dodson took his opponent to the mat, but there was no top control. The round ended with Lineker throwing a knee to the body and Dodson charging forward.
Dodson continued to use his speed in the second round. Lineker moved forward, but couldn’t catch his opponent. A straight left hand cracked Lineker. “Hands of Stone” made fun of Dodson and said he was running. Lineker landed a left hand, but he got kneed below the belt and time was called. The fight resumed and the two exchanged. Lineker landed a left hook. Dodson moved forward, but Lineker got the better of him. An uppercut landed for “The Magician.” Another left hand found the target for “Hands of Stone.” The round ended with Dodson going for a head kick.
The third round began and a low kick followed by a high one connected for Dodson. The two exchanged big shots with about three minutes and 30 seconds left in the round. A body kick landed for “The Magician.” Lineker fired back with a left hook. Dodson got hit with a right hook as he backed up. The round later ended and the crowd was pleased with the action to this point.
A body kick landed for Dodson early in the fourth frame. The two exchanged with Dodson getting the better of it. A one-two combination popped Lineker. Dodson level changed and Lineker lost his balance on his opponent’s takedown attempt. “Hands of Stone” chased down his opponent and landed some punches. He landed a combination. A body punch slowed down Dodson a bit. The round later came to a close.
The final frame began and Dodson slipped throwing a punch. Lineker looked a bit slower in the final round. Even Dodson took his foot off the gas a bit. He threw another high kick and Lineker’s right eye kept swelling. “Hands of Stone” moved forward and landed a left hand and a body shot. A left hand found the mark for Dodson. A right hand from Dodson got Lineker off balance. A takedown scored for “The Magician” and he got the back of his opponent. Lineker shook him off. The final horn sounded and both men raised their arms after an exciting bantamweight tilt.
Two of the three judges scored the fight for “Hands of Stone.”
Final Result: John Lineker def. John Dodson via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)