John Lineker's career might be looking a lot different had he not missed weight for his flyweight fight against Phil Harris at UFC Fight Night 30.
Following Lineker's impressive first-round knockout of Harris, UFC President Dana White said Lineker "probably would have a title shot" if he had come in at the minimum 126-pound mark required for non-title fights in the flyweight division.
That won't happen for the Brazilian, at least for now. Lineker weighed in at 128 pounds, forcing a catchweight bout. White, however, said the fighter has a chance to redeem himself and potentially keep his place in the 125-pound class.
The UFC executive said American Top Team head Dan Lambert reached out after the event to offer a proposition for keeping Lineker in his current division.
"[Lambert is] probably one of the best guys in the sport and has been since before we owned this company, and he hit us up tonight and said, 'Let's get this kid down to Florida training, get him on the Dolce Diet, and make sure this kid can cut weight,'" White relayed. "[Lineker is] so good, if he had made weight in the three times that he missed, he probably would have a title shot right now. So he's going to get him sorted out."
Lambert confirmed to MMAjunkie.com that Lineker will undergo a test cut under the supervision of nutrition guru Mike Dolce, whose Dolce Diet has helped countless fighters slim waists in advance of competition.
If Lineker (23-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) is able to make the 125-pound mark for the simulation, UFC matchmakers may then book him for a flyweight bout, though the bantamweight class still is a possibility, Lambert said.
Dolce said he is on board to turn Lineker's career around.
"I'm a big friend and fan of Dan Lambert, and anything he says, I'm more than happy to help out," he told MMAjunkie.com. "If he believes in Lineker, then I believe in the kid, too, and I think we can turn him into a world champion."
Lineker's first-round stoppage of Harris marked his third straight win via TKO, and also the second straight time he missed weight. The former Jungle Fight champion also missed the mark in his UFC debut, which came at UFC on FOX 3 and ended with a submission loss to Louis Gaudinot.
The heavy-handed Brazilian battered Harris (22-11 MMA, 1-2 UFC) with punches before landing a body shot that forced a stoppage of the bout at 2:51 of the first frame. The bout opened the event's FOX Sports 2-televised main card.