Outside of the UFC Bantamweight Title fight between champion Dominick Cruz and challenger Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207, the biggest bantamweight fight on the card is between #1 ranked TJ Dillashaw and #2 ranked John Lineker. Lineker is prepared to fight Dillashaw this Friday Night, but he is also using the fight to prepare for a future battle against Cruz.
"I really hoped to be next for the title after beating Dodson, but I believe that half-pound made the boss decide,” Lineker told MMA Fighting. "But I understand. And it’s good because I’ll get more prepared when it’s time to fight for the belt. Stronger. I’m happy to be fighting a former champion. It’s going to be a tough fight. Dillashaw is really tough, but I’m happy for this opportunity to face Dillashaw. God willing, I’ll bring another win and get the next shot at the champion. I believe a lot in God. If He wants me to fight Dillashaw, who has a style pretty similar to Cruz’s, it’s because he’s preparing me for what I’m going to face next.”
Lineker is using lessons he learned in his last bout, a win over John Dodson, to defeat the former UFC Bantamweight Champion on Friday Night.
"I will be able to use my striking,” Lineker said. "Dillashaw has good takedowns, but he strikes more than Dodson, who ran away from the fight. I don’t know if Dillashaw will stand and trade with me, but I believe he will. I see myself using my boxing with him. I learned a lot with my last fight. I ran after him a lot, and I won’t do that anymore. I fixed this detail. I will force him to come, force him to fight with me in my game."
UFC 207 takes place on Friday, December 30 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with Amanda Nunes and Ronda Rousey headlining.