Fresh off his third straight UFC victory, John Lineker has his next flyweight test in front of him, and it’s one he already had been preparing for.
Lineker (22-6 MMA, 3-1 UFC) will meet Phil Harris (22-10 MMA, 1-1 UFC) when the UFC returns to England in October. UFC officials announced the pairing early this morning.
The event, which will be UFC Fight Night 30, will take place Oct. 26 at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. The main card will air on FOX Sports 2 – the sister station to FOX Sports 1, which launches Aug. 17. FOX Sports 2 will be a rebrand from FUEL TV.
Lineker and Harris were scheduled to meet at UFC 163 this past weekend in Lineker’s native Brazil. But a fractured orbital bone in training forced Harris out of the fight, and Jose Maria stepped in on two weeks’ notice to take his place.
Lineker dropped his UFC debut in May 2012, but since has won three straight, including back-to back TKO stoppages of Maria and, in May, Azamat Gashimov. He has come under fire, though, for missing weight in two of his four UFC bouts – including against Maria this past weekend when he came in at 129 pounds for the 125-pound fight. He and Maria fought at a catchweight with Maria getting 20 percent of Lineker’s fight purse.
Harris goes from having to fight in Lineker’s home country of Brazil, where the odds, statistically, are stacked against fighters from outside the country, to having a home fight of his own. The Brit will fight in England for the second straight time in the UFC. In February in London, he beat Ulysses Gomez by unanimous decision for his first UFC win after being submitted by Darren Uyenoyama in his promotional debut this past October. The former featherweight dropped to flyweight for the first time in early 2012 under the Cage Warriors banner, where he picked up a pair of wins before being signed by the UFC.
With the addition, the latest UFC Fight Night in Manchester card now includes:
For more on UFC Fight Night in Manchester, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Phil Harris)