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John Lineker had a lot of forward marching to do to get in close on the much taller Marlon Vera, but when he got there he opened up with the power shots fans have come to expect from him.

While it didn’t earn him a finish this time, Lineker (30-8 MMA, 11-3 UFC) did get the nod from the judges, beating Vera (10-4-1 MMA, 4-3 UFC) via unanimous decision after three rounds.

The bantamweight bout opened up the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 119 event at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

Lineker used a more patient approach than normal in this fight, opting to take his time while pursuing the taller, lankier Vera. But in close quarters he became the same slugger he’s always been, ripping Vera with hooks to the head and body and keeping him largely on the defensive.

For Vera, the best moments of the fight came off his kicks, as he chipped away at Lineker’s legs and body before going upstairs with some unconventional attacks.

But Vera never seemed to hurt Lineker, nor could he slow down the perpetual forward motion of his offense. In the end, he spent too much time backing up or being thumped by Lineker’s powerful combos to do much that might sway the judges.

When the fight finally went to the scorecards, all three judges saw it for Lineker, who won the bout with scores of 30-27, 29-28, and 29-28.

The victory gets Lineker back in the win column for the first time since his decision loss to T.J. Dillashaw last December. Vera’s loss snaps a three-fight winning streak.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 119 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Fernanda Prates contributed to this report on site in Sao Paulo.)

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