Hard Fists, Soft Heart: 5 Facts About World Title Challenger John Lineker

Mar 5, 2022
Scenes from John Lineker versus Troy Worthen at "ONE on TNT III"

John Lineker has achieved global fame due to his high-octane mixed martial arts fighting style, but there are many more facets to the hard-hitting Brazilian.

Lineker will take center stage on Friday, 11 March, when he challenges ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano Fernandes in the co-main event of ONE: LIGHTS OUT – but he’s just as happy being a family man away from the spotlight.

Here are five facts that will tell you more about “Hands of Stone” ahead of his World Title showdown at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

#1 He’s A Softie

Lineker has five kids, and as the most important thing in his life, they’re the reason he puts so much of himself into a grueling sport like MMA. 

Success comes with sacrifices – like spending time away from Brazil at American Top Team in Florida, USA – but “Hands of Stone” tries to make up for it when he’s home. 

“My soft spot I can say for sure is being away from my children. When I need to be away from my family to go on a camp, it shakes me a lot,” he says.

“I do a lot of things with them, but I go with them a lot to parks, playgrounds, amusement parks, we go on boat trips. I do a lot of things, but just being with them is wonderful.”

#2 He’s Absolutely ‘Fanatical’ About ‘The Walking Dead’

When Lineker is away from home during fight camps, he has a bit more spare time to kill between sessions.

And when that downtime comes, he enjoys watching a film or digging into a new TV series – including a couple of favorites that he returns to again and again. 

“I love to watch movies and series. The series I watch and review the most is ‘The Walking Dead.’ I’m fanatical about that series. I also like ‘Prison Break.’ I’ve watched the whole series several times,” Lineker says.

“I really like watching action, comedy, drama, and science fiction movies. Zombie movies, I watch almost all of them. Jackie Chan movies too.”

#3 Gospel Rap Gets Him Fired Up

Lineker is also a huge music fan, and his top artist is Brazilian gospel rapper Pregador Luo.

In fact, the 31-year-old athlete has walked out to the rapper’s tunes for all of his bouts on the global stage.

“I like music a lot. The one I like the most is Pregador Luo. In my last three ONE fights I played one of his songs. The name of the song is ‘Testemunhe’ (Witness),” Lineker said.

“I also like other gospel music artists, that sound that really touches the soul. And I listen to some Brazilian genres like Forró and Pisadinha. I like it a lot.”

#4 He’s A KO Machine

While his entrance music may not be aggressive, Lineker certainly is once he steps inside the Circle.

In every fight, he aims to destroy his opponents with his incredible punching power, and that mindset has led to 16 career knockouts, including stoppage wins in two of his three ONE Championship encounters.

Fernandes insists he’s not fazed by his compatriot’s finishing ability, but it’s clear the “Hands of Stone” are a threat to anybody.

#5 He Has A History With Furry Friends

Before he made it as a mixed martial arts superstar, Lineker held a few jobs alongside his training. 

He spent time in construction, but most interestingly, he worked at a pet store, helping people find and look after cute companions. 

These days, he even has his own cat named Logan!

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