Despite the matchup pitting Dillashaw (13-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC), No. 2 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, against No. 8-ranked Lineker (29-7 MMA, 10-2 UFC) taking place on the same card as the 135-pound title fight between Dominick Cruz (22-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) and Cody Garbrandt (10-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC), the UFC is not yet willing to declare it an official No. 1 contender fight.
Sean Shelby, the UFC matchmaker for the bantamweight division, praised Dillashaw vs. Lineker as one of the best fights scheduled for UFC 207. However, he admitted on “The Watch List” for the event that the winner won’t be granted any assurances in terms of a future championship fight.
“The great thing about the bantamweight division right now (is) it’s on fire,” Shelby said. “I don’t think there’s another division with more contenders. We’ll see what we get out of this fight (as far as a title shot). On paper, regardless of title contendership, it’s straight fire. It’s all offense.”
UFC 207 takes place Friday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Dillashaw vs. Lineker airs on the pay-per-view portion of the card following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.
There are many factors are play going into the fight. First and foremost is the result of the title clash between No. 1-ranked Cruz and No. 7-ranked Garbrandt. If the challenger Garbrandt were to take the belt, he’s already promised an immediate rematch to Cruz. If “The Dominator” were to retain, he has already revealed a lack of interest in fighting Dillashaw a second time after winning the belt from him via a debatable split decision at UFC Fight Night 81 in January.
Moreover, any fight involving Lineker is deemed worthy of pause due to the Brazilian’s extensive history of missing weight. He’s already come in over on five separate occasions during his UFC tenure and is unlikely to be trusted for a title fight until he can consistently display professionalism when it comes to weight cutting.
Although Dillashaw vs. Lineker seems to have all the ingredients for a No. 1 contender fight, Shelby also noted there are other names in the division who come into play when discussing which person will fight for the belt next.
“(Jimmie) Rivera has been outstanding; you got (Bryan) Caraway who is still up there in the top-six – you got Dodson,” Shelby said. “There’s so many guys, and there’s guys coming up breaking into the top 10. I’m so happy with the division right now.”view original article >>