A bantamweight fight between third-ranked John Lineker and tenth-ranked John Dodson headlined Fight Night Portland on Saturday and lived up to its expectations.
The two hard-hitting fighters went to war. After 25 minutes of back-and-forth action, Lineker came away with a razor-close split decision win over “The Magician.”
Dodson used his speed to constantly move while Lineker pressed forward, chasing Dodson an points during the bout. The opening round was close, but Dodson landed a clean head kick that stood out in the first stanza. Lineker took it and went on the attack.
In the second frame, Lineker started targeting Dodson’s body with punches and kicks. He continued to push the pace but was unable to slow Dodson’s lateral movement. Out of frustration, Lineker stopped in the center of the cage and motioned for Dodson to come forward. Dodson didn’t and Lineker turned and acted like he was running. Referee “Big” John McCarthy warned the fighters.
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The third round saw spirited exchanges with both fighters landing big shots. Dodson looked to be the fresher fighter to start the fourth frame, but Lineker turned up the heat in the second half of the round, landing to the body and head.
In the final round, Dodson started picking Lineker apart. His left hand landed regularly. He staggered Lineker at one point, but was unable to put the Brazilian away. Linker threw more while Dodson landed at a nearly 70-percent ratio. The decision could have gone either way.
“I came here to give a show for you all,” said Linker following the fight.
When questioned whether he was confident that he had won when the scorecards were being read, Lineker didn’t answer the question.