John Lineker motivated to regain title, hopes ONE Championship opens door for boxing matches

John Lineker motivated to regain title, hopes ONE Championship opens door for boxing matches

John Lineker returns to action Friday in Singapore for ONE Championship, where he looks to stop Stephen Loman’s 11-fight winning streak and earn another crack at the belt.

He’s also voiced interest in another type of challenge moving forward: The former ONE bantamweight champion wants to test his “Hands of Stone” in the squared circle.

With his most recent nemesis Fabricio Andrade set to face Muay Thai champion Jonathan Haggerty for the ONE kickboxing belt later this year, Lineker hopes the company allows him to give it a try in boxing as well.

“Since ONE gives us the opportunity [to compete in other sports], there’s no reason why I wouldn’t take advantage of that,” Lineker said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “I hope to be fighting in other sport in the future. If there’s a chance to fight in boxing, I would love that.”

Until that happens, Lineker’s sole focus is on collecting victories on his way to another shot at the title he once held. Lineker recently rebounded from his defeat to Andrade with a wild third-round knockout over Jae Woong Kim in August, and feels that his clash with Loman should be a No. 1 contender bout.

“I believe the winner absolutely will fight for the title, but I’m focused on putting on a good fight now,” Lineker said. “It gives me more motivation to go there and give my 100 percent knowing that there’s a chance I’m fighting for the title. The win [over Kim] put me back on track, and I plan on fighting for the belt again with a win over Loman.”

Loman, a former Brave CF champion with a record of 17-2 in the sport and so far a flawless three-fight run under the ONE banner, bested the company’s most successful champion Bibiano Fernandes in his most recent appearance, and Lineker knows what to expect from him. Lineker said his recent defeat to Andrade taught him an important lesson to not always assume his opponents will stand and trade with him.

“He’s very versatile and tough,” Lineker said of Loman. “He moves a lot on the feet and has great footwork and takedowns. I think I’ll need to be patient and alert to his movement and takedown attempts. Based on what I’ve studied from Loman’s game, he won’t come to trade with me on the feet, he will try to take me down and work with his ground-and-pound, but I’m focused and ready.”

“I’ll go there and search for the knockout at all times, like I always do,” he added. “That’s the type of fight I love, to give fans a show.”

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