‘I Expected More From Loman’ – John Lineker Reflects On Crucial Victory At ONE Fight Night 14
The former ONE Bantamweight MMA World Champion was putting his #1 contender spot on the line against the #2-ranked Filipino in their U.S. primetime clash on Friday, September 29.
Loman was also riding an 11-fight winning streak into the biggest match of his career, but Lineker’s experience shone through as he overcame some early pressure to grow into the match and take the unanimous decision victory.
Fresh off a knockout win over Kim Jae Woong in August, “Hands of Stone” was thrilled to bag his second triumph in as many months.
He told onefc.com:
“Thank God I managed to get another victory. I did what I always do. I went into the cage to get the knockout. Unfortunately, my opponent came up with a strategy to take me down, but I managed to defend his takedown attempts.
“I felt really good. I did my homework. I didn’t get the knockout, but I did my best, as I do in all my fights. I thought I performed well. I managed to show that I’m improving in some aspects, such as defending takedowns and also working underneath. So, I’m very satisfied with my performance.”
Given the high-octane styles of both men, many fans viewed their matchup as a likely firefight.
What transpired instead was a battle of wills, with Lineker looking to keep the bout upright while his foe worked hard to take things to the canvas.
Although it was a tough battle, “Hands of Stone” admits he felt Loman was too risk-averse, which led to more of a tactical clash than a raucous one.
“I expected more from Loman. I think he was very cautious. He tried to preserve himself more in the fight. He tried to fight without taking any risks to try to win on points. But I think you have to get in the cage and show that you deserve to be there in that position.
“I’m not belittling him. Loman is a great fighter, a great athlete, and he put together his strategy for our fight. It’s just not the type of strategy I like. Everyone knows that I don’t go into the cage to win on points. I’m going to fight to get the knockout.
“I think he could have risked a little more so we could put on more of a show. He has a history of knockouts, but in this fight, he left something to be desired.”
Lineker Eager For World Title Rematch With Andrade, But Open To Matchup With Kwon
John Lineker has now scored back-to-back victories since his defeat to current ONE Bantamweight MMA World Champion Fabricio Andrade.
After losing the belt on the scale before their first match – which ended in a no contest – and then getting stopped by “Wonder Boy” in their second meeting, Lineker is desperate for one more showdown with his old foe.
However, with Andrade booked to face Jonathan Haggerty for the vacant ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Title at ONE Fight Night 16 on Prime Video next month, the Brazilian veteran doesn’t know when that opportunity might come.
Enjoying his recent run of activity, Lineker wants to keep the ball rolling if his compatriot is not ready to go in the near future:
“I hope everything goes well for Fabrício and that he returns to fighting in MMA as soon as possible, but I don’t intend to wait.
“The winner of [my fight with Loman] was expected to challenge for the World Title, and I hope that happens. But if it’s not for the title now, I’ll do one more fight. I want to work.”
“Hands of Stone” wants redemption against Andrade at some point, but there are other top-ranked bantamweights he’d be willing to square off with in the meantime.
More specifically, #4-ranked “Pretty Boy” Kwon Won Il has called him out, and Lineker would be happy to give the South Korean knockout artist what he wants.
“If I have to wait, February would be a good month to fight [Andrade] for the belt. But if it’s a long time after that, I’d rather not wait. [Kwon] is challenging me, so if the title fight takes a while, I can fight him.”