Report | John Lineker to meet Muin Gafurov in his ONE Championship debut

By Tom Taylor - July 23, 2019

Former UFC bantamweight contender John Lineker is reportedly closing in on an opponent for his ONE Championship debut. And just like his fellow UFC veterans Demetrious Johnson, Eddie Alvarez and Sage Northcutt, it looks like he could be in for a tough welcome to the Singapore-based promotion.

John Lineker

According to Tass.Ru reporter Igor Lazarin, John Lineker could potentially make his debut against Tajikistan’s Muin Gafurov  at ONE: Dawn of Valor in Kuala Lumpur on October 25 (h/t Marcel Dorff,

Gafurov — nicknamed “Tajik” due to his heritage— is just 23 years old, but already boasts a fantastic 15-2 record as a mixed martial artist. He has finished all 15 of his career victories with eight knockouts and seven submissions. The 23-year-old is currently on a five-fight win-streak. His latest victory occurred when he returned to the ONE Championship cage after a brief hiatus, folding UFC veteran Leandro Issa with a thunderous first-round punch. His lone losses have come against former ONE bantamweight champion Kevin Belingon, and established ONE flyweight contender Reece “Lightning” McLaren — both by decision. Needless to say, he represents a difficult an extremely dangerous welcome committee for John Lineker.

Lineker, of course, is well accustomed to fighting the world-class fighters. Over the course of his UFC career, he picked up victories over top-flight foes like Ian McCall, Francisco Rivera, Rob Font, Michael McDonald, John Dodson, Marlon Vera, and Brian Kelleher. He lost his last fight to Corey Sandhagen via split decision, and exited the UFC shortly thereafter. That being said, he promptly found a new home with ONE Championship. He’ll make his debut with the promotion with a solid 31-9 pro record, carved out against some of the world’s best fighters.

Who do you think will come out on top if John Lineker and Muin Gafurov collide in Kuala Lumpur as reported?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/23/2019.