JARAGUA DO SUL, Brazil – After stumbling in his octagon debut, heavy-handed John Lineker now appears to be making a run at the flyweight belt.
Battering Dagestan native Azamat Gashimov with hard punches and a well-placed kick, the Brazilian delivered a second-round TKO with a champion’s poise.
The flyweight bout was part of Saturday’s UFC on FX 8 event at Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil. It streamed on Facebook prior to FUEL TV prelims and the FX-televised main card.
Lineker, who lost his UFC debut to Louis Gaudinot at UFC on FOX 3, went to the body early as if to rob Gashimov of his stamina in a longer fight. But he nearly finished his work early with a right hand that dropped his opponent. Gashmimov attempted to turn momentum in his favor by taking down the fight but instead found himself defending punches from his back. Things got even better for Lineker when Gashimov grabbed the fence and was deducted a point by referee Mario Yamasaki. But the Brazilian did just fine on his own with more heavy hooks that found their target.
Gashimov seemingly needed a miracle to put the fight back in his favor. Lineker, though, would let nothing deter him from a finish, which he set up with a kick and hook to the body early in the second. Gashimov crumbled to the mat, and several follow-up punches sealed the deal at the 1:07 mark of the second frame.
“I want to get closer to the title and I’m expecting good news from the UFC,” Lineker said. “It’s extra motivation to be able to fight in my home country, and this was a very special crowd.”
Lineker (21-6 MMA, 2-1 UFC) now boasts back-to-back wins after his UFC-debut setback, which snapped a 13-fight win streak on the regional Brazilian circuit. Gashimov (7-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC), meanwhile, falls to 0-2 in the octagon after a debut loss to Ivan Menjivar.
Up-to-the-minute UFC on FX 8 results include:
For the latest on UFC on FX 8, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.
John Morgan contributed to this report on-site in Jaragua do Sul.