Monday, December 5, 2022

ONE Champ John Lineker Stripped Of Title Due To Weight Miss

Former UFC fighter John Lineker has been stripped of his ONE Championship bantamweight title after failing to make weight ahead of Friday’s fight.

Lineker, who earned the title in a win over Bibiano Fernandes in March, missed the 145lb limit on Thursday. He has been stripped of the belt and will be ineligible to be named champion against Fabricio Andrade on Friday.

Lineker weighed in for a second time but failed to make weight, registering at 145.75lbs on the scales. As a result, he’ll be fined 20 percent of his purse.

Lineker and Andrade will square off in the ONE on Prime Video 3 headliner on Friday, though only Andrade will be eligible to win the belt. If Lineker wins, he’ll earn the No. 1 contender spot for the now-vacant title.

John Lineker Stripped Of Bantamweight Title Ahead Of ONE on Prime Video 3

Lineker’s weight miss and the consequence of his miss are similar to that of UFC star Charles Oliveira. After missing weight ahead of UFC 274, Oliveira defeated Justin Gaethje to earn the No. 1 contender spot.

Lineker was one of seven fighters who failed to make weight on Thursday. This is particularly rare given ONE’s rehydration methods that have been praised by critics of extreme weight cutting seen in promotions such as the UFC and Bellator.

In ONE, fighters participate in a combined weigh-in and hydration test up until fight night. Doctors test to ensure an athlete has a urine-specific gravity value of 1.025 or lower. If an athlete fails the hydration test on the event day, the fighter won’t be allowed to participate.

After an up-and-down tenure in the UFC, Lineker won his ONE debut against Muin Gafurov in Oct. 2019. He’s won four fights in a row, including knockouts of Troy Worthen and Kevin Belingon.

Lineker’s weight miss opens the door for Andrade to secure his first major promotion title after an impressive run so far in his career. The 25-year-old is on a seven-fight winning streak, including four of his five ONE fights ending in a finish.

Lineker and his team haven’t spoken out on why he missed weight, but we could learn more following the event on Friday.