John Lineker had to earn his KO win against Brian Kelleher at UFC 224. As the Brazilian brawler kept catching his opponent with flush shots throughout the bout, ‘Boom’ just refused to go down until he got hit with a clean left hook to the chin, which sent him straight into unconsciousness.
Although the Brazilian managed to score another win in John Lineker fashion, he told Combate he was very impressed with Brian’s durability. In fact, since Kelleher had never been knocked out before, that just made ‘Hands of Stone’ want it even more.
“Brian is amazing,” Lineker said. “He’s really tough and so durable. When the first round was over, I knew I had hit him with some hard shots, but he didn’t go down. I thought to myself ‘that’s a tough dude’. He tried to take me down, but couldn’t do it. I was very prepared. His power to absorb shots really impressed me. I trained a lot of wrestling and jiu-jitsu. I want to be as complete as possible for my title shot.”
“I like to go after the KO. That’s what I do. I heard he was never knocked out before. I’m glad to lead the way. I’m not better than anybody else, but you need to watch out for my hands. I actually like it when they say that, it gets me more motivated.”
John Lineker is on a two-fight winning streak, having defeated Brian Kelleher and Marlon Vera in his last two outings. The Brazilian’s last loss came in December 2016, when he was bested by TJ Dillashaw via unanimous decision.