Two established Flyweight contenders went head to head; or, at least that was what was supposed to happen at UFC 183.
#3-ranked Californian Ian McCall did battle John Lineker (#6) at UFC 173, but the bout took place at a 130lb catchweight between Flyweight and Bantamweight after the hard-hitting Lineker weighed in four pounds north of the divisional weight limit.
He is still poised for a move up in weight, but had business to take care of first against Ian McCall.
It was McCall handling that business early on. The colorful “Uncle Creepy” outgrappled Lineker — landing short strikes all the while pushing and forcing Lineker into unfavorable ground positioning.
In round two, everything changed. Lineker brought McCall all sorts of trouble. From a tight guillotine attempt early on to some damaging strikes later, John Lineker made the pain and forced McCall to rethink his approach going into the final round.
In those pivotal final moments of this UFC 183 bout, Lineker was on the attack. The Brazilian didn’t take the fight to the ground, but was able to close off the octagon to land his heavy-handed hooks. McCall couldn’t afford to exchange with him, but couldn’t find the spacing he needed to be effective, win the round, and reenter the UFC title picture.
All three judges scored this contest 29-28 for Lineker, who will now carry his talents upwards to the UFC Bantamweight division.