John Lineker was forced to pull out of a bout against Jimmie Rivera this weekend at UFC 219 due to a serious tooth infection.
The fighter was in Las Vegas preparing for the encounter with Rivera when the pain became to much to handle.
“I noticed this when I came to Las Vegas earlier,” Lineker told MMA Fighting. “I didn’t know how bad it was a week ago. I started to feel the pain, but I thought it was something related to the root canal treatment I did three weeks ago. When I talked to a second doctor — the first one didn’t have an answer for the pain —, they found this infection. I kept training hard despite the pain, but the pain kept getting worse a week before fight week. I decided to go to Vegas early so the UFC doctor could see how I was because I wanted to fight no matter what, but he saw that I wasn’t fit to fight and would have to do something about it.”
Lineker himself was a late replacement for former UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz, who pulled out of the bout due to an arm injury. Due to the aforementioned tooth infection, surgery is taking place this week in Brazil so doctors can fix the problem for the fighter.
“My wife has taken care of everything already,” he said. “I will have the procedure as soon as I get there (Brazil). I want to get better and get back to training and fighting as soon as possible.”
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.