Brian Kelleher feels he’s ready to take out John Lineker.
Kelleher will do battle with perhaps his toughest opponent yet. He’ll go one-on-one with Lineker on the main card of UFC 224. The action is set to take place inside the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. May 12 is the date of the event.
A unanimous decision win over Renan Barao certainly helped Kelleher get to this point. Barao is a former UFC bantamweight champion and was once considered one of the sport’s pound-for-pound best. He isn’t currently ranked, but a win over 6th ranked Lineker will certainly change that.
During a recent appearance on Flo Combat‘s Top Turtle podcast, Kelleher said he can exploit Lineker’s game and emerge victorious:
“I’ve got to make a statement against Lineker. I always say this—that I never look past a guy—and I don’t want it to sound like that. Lineker is a tough opponent, really hard to finish, but I’m gonna take him out and make a statement and we’ll go from there. I know he’s a power puncher. He likes to mix it up to the body and head. He really just looks to box. He doesn’t throw a lot of kicks or throw a lot of level changes… He’s somewhat one-dimensional.”
Up to this point, Kelleher has garnered a professional mixed martial arts record of 19-8. Seven of those victories have come by knockout, while six have happened via submission. He has gone 9-1 in his last 10 outings.
Meanwhile, Lineker has gone 7-1 in his last eight bouts. In that span, he’s finished three of his opponents. There’s a reason why Lineker calls himself “Hands of Stone.” Thirteen of his 30 victories came via knockout. He also has four submission wins to boot.
UFC 224 is set to be headlined by a women’s bantamweight title fight between champion Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington. In the co-main event, middleweights Jacare Souza and Kelvin Gastelum will clash. Brazilian favorites Vitor Belfort and Lyoto Machida are also set to go head-to-head.
Do you think Brian Kelleher can pull off an upset against John Lineker?