Former champ TJ Dillashaw will forever be a stud for wrecking the once-unbeatable Renan Barao twice. But after losing to Dominick Cruz, he’s kind of in limbo. John Lineker, meanwhile, has always been a thrilling knockout artist, but his problems making weight have made him unreliable when it comes to title contention. Putting these two together promises for a fun fight at the very least. Who knows what a win for either guy means, though.
Dillashaw doesn’t want to get caught in his opponent’s punching range, as that’s where people die, so he comes out leaping into head-kicks. Lineker catches them and tries to take the former champ’s head off, but Dillashaw nails a takedown after two minutes and goes to work from top position, pecking away with short punches while keeping the Brazilian flattened out. Eventually Lineker scrambles his way up, and after he absorbs some kicks, he convinces Dillashaw to trade until the horn – much to the crowd’s glee.
The second round sees Dillashaw’s cautioned, measured offense return in the form of kicks and takedowns, and in no time he’s on top feeding his opponent short punches and elbows. Lineker is taking a beating, with his attempts at counterattacking and scramble getting snuffed out like a candle in a rainstorm. The Brazilian survives – doesn’t even seem that much worse for wear – but he’s getting smashed.
With impeccable timing to go with his speed advantage, Dillashaw is just in a different class in the third, meeting Lineker’s lumbering aggression with picture-perfect level changes that put the Brazilian on his back. When they’re back on their feet the former champ is in and out, in and out, and his confidence is so high that he even dives in for a calf-crusher. Lineker grins and bears it, and in the final 20 seconds he’s in hot pursuit, but it’s fruitless. All Dillashaw, all day.
Results: TJ Dillashaw def. John Lineker via Unanimous Decision