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Following an injury to former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, John Lineker has stepped up to face Jimmie Rivera at UFC 219 in Las Vegas on Dec. 30.

UFC officials announced the matchup on Tuesday. 

With a 5-1 record at 135 pounds, Lineker has been one of the toughest matchups in the bantamweight division with a heavy-handed aggressive style that has intimidated more than a few opponents in the past.

Lineker was champing at the bit to land this fight after Cruz fell out due to injury and now he’s got his wish as he looks to add the first loss to Rivera’s resume since joining the UFC roster.

As for Rivera, he hopes to solidify himself as the No. 1 contender in the bantamweight division with a win at UFC 219. 

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