Ian McCall and John Lineker Fight for the Next Flyweight Title Shot
Top ranked flyweights Ian McCall and John Lineker will dispute a very likely title shot on Saturday night when they square off against each other in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 56 at the Ginasio Municipal Tancredo Neves in Uberlandia, Brazil.
The Next Title Shot
With UFC flyweight king Demetrious Johnson having already defeated almost everybody on the top of the food chain, the November 8th bout between #3 ranked Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall and #6 ranked John “Hands of Stone’ Lineker becomes an all-important matchup which should shake up the rankings.
McCall is only 2-2-1 in the UFC, but he’s fought Demetrious Johnson twice already. He drew with Mighty Mouse in the first ever flyweight bout in UFC history and lost to D.J. in their rematch during the 2012 flyweight tournament semi-finals. McCall is on a two fight win streak and defeated Brad Pickett in his most recent outing.
Lineker is 5-2 in the UFC and four of those wins have been by knockout. Lineker had a four fight winning streak snapped last February when he was beaten by Ali Bagautinov at UFC 169. He bounced back with a knockout win over Alptekin Ozkilic last July.
A win by either man should earn him the number one contender position and assure him of the next title shot against Johnson.
Previewing the Match-up
Uncle Creepy McCall has been cast as the favorite in this one at -185 while Lineker is the underdog at +155 in a case of a well-tested and all-around veteran against a powerful but untested slugger.
McCall is a very well rounded fighter who has seen it all in the Octagon. In his most recent bout against Brad Pickett at UFC Fight Night 46, he showed tremendous movement to avoid the Brit’s heavy hands. McCall also picked his spots and chose to brawl with Pickett only on several occasions. Against Lineker, he should do the same thing.
Lineker is no different from Pickett because he packs a lot of power in his punches and is a volume hitter. In the sport’s lightest weight class, Lineker fights like a heavyweight. The Brazilian likes to walk down his opponents and swing big punches from start to finish. The concern here for McCall is that Lineker has heavier hands than Pickett so if he was able to trade with Brad Pickett in the pocket, the case may be different against John Lineker.
One thing going for McCall is that he’s faced better opposition in the past. In the biggest bout of Lineker’s UFC career, he lost via unanimous decision to Ali Bagutinov at UFC 169. Other than Bagautinov, he hasn’t faced top quality foes. The other thing going for McCall is that Lineker has a history of having difficulties making the 125 pound limit. He’s missed the weight in three of his last seven bouts and that makes his weight cut crucial to this bout.
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