Photo from ONE Championship

Bantamweight contender John Lineker looks at the bigger picture of setting up an all-Brazilian showdown against current champion Bibiano Fernandes in ONE Championship.

But Brazil’s “Hands of Stone” must overcome tonight’s fight first in ONE: Inside the Matrix III at the Singapore Indoor Stadium against the No. 1 bantamweight fighter Kevin Belingon of Team Lakay.

The two will headline the main event in an expected all-out brawl fashion after proving their striking prowess and finishing rates throughout their long mixed martial arts career.

And this is Lineker’s attempt to barge in the competitive history of Belingon and fellow Brazilian Fernandes, who first fought in 2016 before sparking a trilogy from 2018 to 2019.

“I want the world champion. I don’t think there would be a reason for them not to give him to me if I am fighting the #1 contender. And if I beat [Belingon], that should be the way to go,” said Lineker.

“I know Bibiano is a tough opponent, he has high-level jiu-jitsu, but no one can stop me at the moment. I know I have the edge. I am working really hard [to get that world title], and I will get it.”

Read: Team Lakay coach: Belingon needs convincing win vs Lineker for title shot

Now against Belingon, a former champion in the division, the Brazilian knockout artist believes he has more experience at hand, having been a veteran in the UFC.

In the UFC, Lineker held a 12-4 record highlighted by three knockouts, three technical knockouts, and a submission. 

He moved to ONE Championship October last year for his debut performance with a unanimous decision win against Muin Gafurov of Tajikistan to improve his overall record at 32-9.

The 30-year-old Lineker wants Belingon to have a taste of his own medicine, looking to finish the Filipino warrior in their five-round bout.

“Maybe after our fight, I can win over some fans from the Philippines because of my performance,” said Lineker.

Source: Manila Bulletin (