Brazilian John Lineker solidifies standing in ONE bantamweight division

BRAZILIAN bantamweight fighter John Lineker (left) solidified his standing as a top contender in the division in ONE Championship after another impressive victory in the promotion’s Singapore event on Thursday. — ONE CHAMPIONSHIP

BRAZILIAN bantamweight fighter John “Hands of Stone” Lineker solidified his standing as a top contender in the division in ONE Championship after another impressive victory in the promotion’s Singapore event on Thursday.

Mr. Lineker (34-9), currently the top-ranked bantamweight contender in ONE, knocked out American Troy “Pretty Boy” Worthen in the opening round of their headlining fight at “ONE on TNT III.”

It was the third straight victory for the former Ultimate Fighting Championship campaigner, who joined ONE in 2019.

Mr. Lineker did not waste much time to get it going, coming out aggressive with powerful boxing combinations, landing solid shots to the head and body of his opponent.

Mr. Worthen did a good job in surviving the initial onslaught, but eventually found himself wilting amid the continuous attack of the Brazilian.

The fight came to an end when Mr. Lineker connected on a straight right hand that sent Mr. Worthen to the canvas before closing things out at the 4:35 mark of the first round with another right hand.

Following his victory, Mr. Lineker called out reigning ONE bantamweight champion and compatriot Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes for a title fight.

The loss was the second straight for Mr. Worthen (7-2) after winning his first three outings in the promotion.

Meanwhile, in the co-main event, Japanese Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu got the better of Australian Reece “Lightning” McLaren in their three-round collision by way of unanimous decision.

“ONE on TNT III” is part of the “ONE on TNT” series, which is catered to North America apart from the promotion’s traditional audience. Matches in the series are being broadcast both digitally and on television on prime time in the United States.

On April 29 will be the last installment of the series, “ONE on TNT IV,” headlined by the ONE light heavyweight world championship fight between champion “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang and challenger Vitaly Bigdash of Russia. Also part of the card is the third lightweight fight of Filipino veteran Eduard “Landslide” Folayang with Japanese legend Shinya Aoki. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo