The Brazilian knockout specialist is set to face Muin “Tajik” Gafurov in a battle of proven finishers in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Lineker is keen to make an impression in his first outing.
“Hands Of Stone” has his sights set on the top of his division, and a win over Gafurov would send him on a collision course with ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes.
These are five reasons why the Brazilian could get his hand raised at the Istora Senayan and go on to win gold in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
#1 The “Hands Of Stone”
Lineker’s moniker could not be more apt, as the heavy-hitting American Top Team representative has shown he can take out world-class opponents with the awesome power in his fists.
“Hands Of Stone” was a state boxing champion in his native Brazil before he made the switch to mixed martial arts. He then put his experience in “the sweet science” to work in his new sport, and his skills were made all the more dangerous in 4-ounce gloves.
So far, he has earned 14 of his 31 career victories by knockout.
“My hands are my biggest assets. My power [is my advantage],” he states.
#2 An Iron Chin
In a professional mixed martial arts career spanning 40 bouts and 11 years – many of them at an elite level – Lineker has never been stopped by strikes.
This is made even more impressive when you watch the Paranagua native in action. His aggressive style is more focused on attack than defense, and he has no fear of wading through his adversaries’ strikes to land his own.
His incredible durability means that no matter what he goes through, he is still a threat in the later rounds, which means he has been able to win many exciting bouts on the scorecards, or even get a late finish when his rivals start to fade.
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#3 All-Out Offense
“Hands Of Stone” has faced off against some of the best flyweight and bantamweight mixed martial artists on the planet, and no matter their style, he has rarely taken a backward step against any of them
His rival in Jakarta has a 100-percent finishing rate in 17 career victories, and his three wins on the global stage have all come via knockout, but those facts will not change Lineker’s approach.
“I always come to fight, no matter who [it is],” he offers.
If he can get past “Tajik” the possibilities for toe-to-toe wars with the division’s other big names seem too good to be true.
#4 Surprising Submission Skills
Though he made his start in striking sports, Lineker had access to high-level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training in his homeland, and he holds a brown belt in “the gentle art.”
He has not had to rely on it too much because punches are his weapons of choice, but he has a dangerous arsenal of chokes, including a very strong guillotine.
Any opponent that dismisses his threat on the ground could be in for a rude awakening if they close the distance, or if they try to get a reprieve from the 29-year-old’s stand-up attack and leave their neck exposed when they shoot for a takedown.
#5 Aiming High
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Lineker proved himself as one of the best mixed martial artists in the West thanks to his extensive record of delivering stunning performances, but he was upset by his lack of opportunity.
In his previous organization, he was only allowed to compete three times since 2016, so he was desperate to leave for fresh pastures where he could fulfill his goals in his personal and professional life.
“[My goal is] to become World Champion, be an example, and raise my family well,” states “Hands Of Stone.”
“I am really excited to fight for ONE in Jakarta in front of the Indonesian fans, and I will put on a show!”