On a four-fight win streak coming into his first title defense, John Lineker had been nothing but electrifying since coming over to ONE Championship. With his next opponent being a heavy hitter, Lineker is ready for another fantastic fight at ONE on Amazon Prime 3 this weekend.
Since becoming champion in his new home, John Lineker says there’s been some adjusting with all the new media and other things that come with being champion. In addition to that, he now knows he has a target on his back instead of being the one aiming for the target as he’s done all these years.
“I’m making the best of it. There are a lot of people looking for me for interviews, to give talks. So, I’ve been taking advantage of the opportunities that have come up now that I’m the champion. But, of course, I’m keeping my focus. Now as a champion I become the target, so I have to be prepared for new challenges. But I’m enjoying this phase a lot as champion.”
If you missed Lineker capturing the title against Bibiano Fernandes, I highly suggest going back and watching. From start to finish, it’s a banger of a fight. Lineker describes the winning of the belt as life changing and gives the upmost credit to his former foe.
“It was an incredible fight against a champion with a name, a very tough guy. Bibiano is a guy with a completely different style from mine, but the fight showed that I was prepared to be the champion. And that moment was unique. Being a World Champion was something I had been looking for since I joined the UFC. Today fighting at ONE and becoming champion was a dream come true. It was a very important moment in my life. I have no words to express what I felt at that moment.”
John Lineker vs. Fabricio de Andrade at ONE on Prime Video 3
For his opponent, John Lineker mentions the extra pressure that comes with being a champion. Both he and Fabricio de Andrade are sluggers and can put the lights out at any moment. Lineker says that training for this fight has made him a more complete martial artist, however.
“My training remains the same. Of course, now as a champion, I worry a little more. I want to become an increasingly complete fighter. Because becoming champion is one thing, staying champion is another. You become a target, and everyone wants to finish you off. I’m looking to improve in all areas and become an increasingly complete fighter. Fabrício is a Muay Thai guy, I’m from Boxing. I’ve been training a lot on top of that, training a lot of kicks, knees and elbows. I’m preparing very well, and I want to become an even more complete fighter to stay at the top.”
As for dream fights in ONE, Lineker isn’t picking any names in specific. Instead, he just wants to cement his legacy as champion. It’s not the big fights for him, it’s being the best that gets him out of bed in the morning.
“The fight of my dreams is the one that will keep me as champion. That’s my dream, that’s my goal within ONE. I don’t have any fighter or dream fight I would like to do. I just want to remain the champion of the organization for a long time. This is my dream.”
But there is one name that would be fun for John Lineker: Demetrious Johnson. Lineker says that it’s a fight that people want and if ONE thinks a catchweight fight is in order, he is down as down can get.
“I would definitely like a super fight against Demetrious Johnson. This fight remained in people’s imagination for many years. If ONE thinks it would be a good fight, at a catchweight, I would definitely take it. Who knows this fight doesn’t happen?”
So why tune in? Why show up and watch John Lineker headline his first card as champion? If you’ve ever seen Lineker fight you’d know why. He echos that.
“It’s going to be a show, there’s going to be a lot of striking, beating all the time. So fans can’t miss it. This is that fight that everyone likes to watch. Beating all the time, a lot of striking, no mooring. So, no one can lose this fight.”
Be sure to tune in to watch John Lineker on October 21st live on Amazon Prime!
Your friendly neighborhood fight fan. I watch way too many fights and my wife lets me know it.