#7 John Lineker (23-7) avoided missing weight for a 4th time in the UFC, successfully weighing in at 125.5lbs for his flyweight bout against Alptekin Ozkilic (9-2).
John Lineker thought of to be a serious contender in the flyweight division, had a 4-fight win streak snapped against Ali Bagautinov in his last fight. Prior to that, “Hands of Stone” had knocked out his last 3 opponents in the UFC, justifying his nickname.
“The Turkish Delight” Alptekin Ozkilic won his UFC debut against Darren Uyenoyama, but suffered a loss at the hands of Louis Smolka in January on short-notice.
In what can only be described as a flyweight slugfest, John Lineker and Alptekin Ozkilic engaged in a fight of the night worthy 3-rounds of stand up action. The pace kept the same throughout, with neither fighter’s chin giving into the punches until the very end. John Lineker’s power and overall striking would prevail over the toughness of Ozkilic in the final minute of the fight, scoring a knockout.
Lineker let off the first big combination of the fight, a right hand–left hook that landed clean to the head of Ozkilic, who was not afraid to engage with the heavy-handed Brazilian, but was far less powerful landing counters. Ozkilic dropped down for a double leg, and transitioned to the back of Lineker, who would defend but allow Ozkilic to gain top position in half-guard. After a brief moment, Lineker scrambled back to his feet, ready to throw his hands. Pressuring Ozkilic, Lineker unloaded and connected with wide looping hooks. Lineker continued to land and test the chin of Ozkilic, a variety of hooks and uppercuts–and ending the round with a takedown. 10-9 Lineker
Lineker came out stalking Ozkilic in round 2, landing a left hook followed by an uppercut flush on the chin of Ozkilic, who took the shots very well. The power of Lineker seemed to overwhelm Ozkilic, but did not prevent him for continuing to engage–landing a few nice shots of his own. Ozkilic was able to defend a strong double leg attempt from Lineker. The Brazilian did not slow down throughout the entire 2nd round, continuing to land left and right hand combinations–showcasing his superior hand speed. Ozkilic successfully landing combinations of his own late in the round as both fighters continued to test the other’s chin. 10-9 Lineker
Lineker really turned it on to begin the 3rd round, looking for the finish, biting down on his gum shield and swinging for the fences. He connected on several haymaker right and left hands, while defending a takedown attempt from Ozkilic. “The Turkish Delight” rocked on a couple of the shots landed, but did not go down. Lineker showcased improved takedown defense throughout the fight, when Ozkilic got desperate for a takedown late. The two flyweights continued slugging it out on the feet and high fiving in between exchanges. In the final minute of the round, John Lineker caught Ozkilic with a huge left hand followed by another left hand that dropped and finished Ozkilic.
John Lineker was finally able to put away the super tough Alptekin Ozkilic in the final seconds of the fight. Back in the win column and one step closer to a title shot. His 4th knockout win gives him sole possession of the UFC flyweight record.
John Lineker def. Alptenkin Ozkilic via TKO (punches)–Round 3, 4:51
“I was prepared, and I wanted to show everybody I’m ready for the title, Dana White, Joe Silva I want that title,” Lineker said post-fight.
Full results for UFC Fight Night 45: Cerrone vs Miller can be found here.