It was reported yesterday that John Lineker had to pull out of a UFC 219 bout against Jimmie Rivera, which was going to be a part of the pay-per-view card.
Since withdrawing from the bout, an injured Lineker issued the following statement to MMA Junkie:
“I am really sad to have to withdraw from my fight with Rivera. I felt a little pain in the beginning of the week, went to the dentist and got treated, but (the pain) just kept getting worse. I came to Las Vegas early and tried to stay in the fight, but it was simply impossible.
“I would like to apologize to Rivera. I know how much it sucks when this happens. I want to apologize to Sean Shelby and the UFC. I begged them for the fight, and they agreed, and now I feel horrible to have to withdraw. And I need to apologize to the fans.
“I know that this would have been a great fight and everyone was looking forward to it. Hopefully Rivera and the UFC will agree to reschedule as soon as I can be ready to fight again.”
MMA Junkie is also reporting that Rivera wants to remain on the UFC 219 card, despite the fact that there are less than five days until the event.
However, a total of three fighters in Marlon Moraes, Brian Kelleher and Marlon Vera have taken to Twitter to say they are willing to step up on short notice.
Merry Christmas @JimmieRivera135 I’m in shape and haven’t had Christmas dinner yet ! I’ll step in to save your honeymoon from being postponed again— Brian Kelleher (@brianboom135) December 24, 2017
There has been no comment from the UFC yet on either Lineker’s withdraw or a replacement to battle Rivera.
UFC 219 takes place on Saturday, December 30 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with Cyborg and Holly Holm headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.