UFC president Dana White has clarified the reasons why John Lineker was released by the UFC.
Earlier this week, the Brazilian bantamweight fighter’s time with the promotion came to an abrupt end and no one was sure of the reasons why. Lineker had competed 16 times in the UFC since making his debut in May 2012 and is known for bringing one of the most fan-friendly styles of fighting to the Octagon.
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Speculation surrounding Lineker’s release mostly revolved around the fact that the 29-year-old has a long history of missing weight and/or being unable to fight his scheduled opponent.
In late May, Lineker took to Twitter and expressed his difficulty with getting fights booked with the UFC. Pleading for another fight sooner than later, Lineker stated, “I need to fight! If you don’t like me or my style just let me go!”
My last opponent fought 4 times in a year. He already has another fight! Sean likes him! I have fought only 4 times since 2016! I need to fight! If you dont like me or my style just let me go!!! @MMAjunkie @seanshelby @danawhite @Alexdavismma @ufc @MMAFighting @sherdogdotcom
— John Lineker (@johnlineker) May 29, 2019
Lineker’s calls were answered not long later and he accepted a short-notice bout against Rob Font after Cody Stamann experienced an injury just a few weeks before the event.
However, with just a couple of days remaining before his UFC Greenville bout with Font, Lineker withdrew from the fight and left Font without an opponent for the second time in as many as 17 days.
This marked the fourth time since 2016 that Lineker had withdrawn from a contest in the weeks leading up to an event. Previously, Lineker had withdrawn from bouts with Cody Garbrandt, Jimmie Rivera and Cory Sandhagen due to various injuries and illnesses.
Speaking to Aaron Bronsteter at the UFC Summer Press Conference event, White explained why Lineker was released by the UFC and shared that the decision was influenced by his actions outside of the Octagon and not his efforts within it.
Dana White on why John Lineker was released from the UFC
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) July 6, 2019
“It was because he hasn’t made weight a few times, and I know that the matchmakers were super frustrated with him. The guy wasn’t being professional,” White explained.
“When you don’t make it to the Octagon, either, a bunch of times, it’s a waste of everybody’s time, energy, and money.”
“We expect guys to be professional, do what they’re supposed to do and show up. The matchmakers… We’re done. They had it.”
You can watch Dana White’s full interview with Aaron Bronsteter below.
Jake Nichols is The Body Lock's Editor in Chief. Previously, he was the MMA Editor at RealSport.