UFC 224: John Lineker vs. Brian Kelleher Fight Preview
MMA Record: 30-8
UFC Record: 11-3
Notable Wins: John Dodson, Rob Font, Michael McDonald, Ian McCall
Notable Losses: TJ Dillashaw, Ali Bagautinov
Last Fight: Decision win over Marlon Vera
Fighter Profile: One of the most exciting bantamweights in the UFC, Lineker is an absolute beast of a fighter, and packs a massive punch for a little guy. The Brazilian had huge power for a 125lber and he has carried it up to his days 135lber. Since moving up to his current weight class he's 5-1 with huge wins over the likes of Dodson and Font, with his only recent loss coming to the champ Dillashaw. Lineker has terrific striking and adequate grappling plus a huge chin and very solid cardio. He's an excellent fighter and just a step below championship-caliber, but even if he never wins a title, he's always going to be a guy who puts on great fights for the fans.
MMA Record: 19-8
UFC Record: 3-1
Notable Wins: Iuri Alcantara, Renan Barao
Notable Losses: Marlon Vera, Jimmie Rivera
Last Fight: Decision win over Renan Barao
Fighter Profile: Despite entering the UFC with little fanfare, Kelleher has looked really solid since entering the Octagon. In his UFC debut he picked up a massive upset submission win over Alcantara, though he quickly lost some steam with the loss to Vera. But since then he's picked up back-to-back wins over Barao and Damian Stasiak and has looked great. Kelleher is a very game fighter who has no problem standing the pocket and banging it out, and his ground game is dangerous as well. He has a weakness to submissions but overall he is a very solid fighter. He called out Lineker for this fight, and now let's see what he's made of.
Fight Breakdown: I think this fight has the potential to be something really special as both men are warriors who will bite down on their mouthpieces and chuck bombs for as long as this fight lasts. Lineker has looked amazing throughout his UFC career expect in a few spots here and there while Kelleher has been terrific since making his UFC debut last year. I think you're going to see two very game fighters with solid striking skills and strong chins just throw down until someone falls. Both guys have very good chins though so I have a feeling this fight actually makes it the full 15 minutes, but I think Lineker's advantage in pure power is going to be the difference in this one. I think Lineker lands the bigger shots and while I see Kelleher being tough enough to survive, I see Lineker ultimately winning a decision in what should be a strong contender for "Fight of the Night."
Prediction: John Lineker via decision
Tags: betting preview
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Mixed martial arts journalist. Lead writer for MMAOddsbreaker.com and also featured at @MMARatingsNet, @mmanews_com and @fightodds_io.
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