If UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson were calling the shots, fellow 125-pounder John Lineker would no longer be a part of the UFC roster.
Lineker (23-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) is one of the top candidates for a shot at Johnson’s (19-2-1 MMA, 7-1-1 UFC) belt in the near future, but the fact the Brazilian has failed to weigh in on point in three of his five UFC appearances has damaged his reputation.
While Johnson has openly stated his willingness to accept any match the UFC offers, he believes Lineker’s repeated inability to make weight should have led to his termination from the organization.
“As far as him not making weight three times, he’s still in the UFC, so there’s nothing I can do about it,” Johnson said at today’s UFC on FOX 10 Q&A session. “If it was me, I would have cut him, but that’s just me.”
The UFC has released fighters for such offenses, but Lineker has managed to stick around, likely due to his impressive streak of three consecutive knockout wins.
Lineker’s performances inside the octagon speak volumes. However, Johnson believes those results are tainted. Performing on fight night is one part of the game, but the champion feels discipline when it comes to diet is equally important.
“My coaches tell me I have two jobs to do,” Johnson said. “One is make weight, and [the other is] fight. That’s all I’ve got to do.”
Lineker will have another chance to prove himself next month when he faces Ali Bagautinov (12-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) on the pay-per-view main-card portion of UFC 169, which takes place Feb. 1 in Newark, N.J.
Should Lineker get past Bagautinov and make weight in the process, a shot at “Mighty Mouse” is sure to be in his immediate future. With that said, regardless of what “Hands of Stone” does inside the cage, it doesn’t change Johnson’s opinion of his place in the organization.
“Part of the job when you sign a contract that says you’ve got to make 125,” Johnson said. “Not 128, not 130.”
For the latest on UFC 169, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: John Lineker)