ONE Championship continues their exhilarating set of events on TNT with a blockbuster of a main event. Their third outing with the streaming service is set to be headlined by ‘Hands of Stone’ himself, John Lineker, who faces off against a rising prospect in Troy Worthen.
John “Hands Of Stone” Lineker – 33-9
It’s not hard to figure out what an athlete with the nickname ‘Hands of Stone’ will be bringing to a fight. John Lineker is going to go out there and let the punches fly. However, whilst he does have a tendency to brawl at times, there is also so much more to his game.
A former UFC fighter who won 13 out of his 16 fights for the organization, Lineker is a tried and tested veteran. The Brazillian knockout artist holds wins over truly high-level opposition, such as Rob Font, Marlon Vera, and John Dodson. Despite this huge resume, Lineker is still only 30 years old. Now fighting for One Championship, Lineker is already 2-0 for the Singaporean organization.
In many ways, Lineker has all the attributes needed for the perfect MMA striker. He holds knockout power in his hands, has a granite chin, and incredible cardio. He also incorporates intelligent striking, even when he starts swinging wildly. His willingness to go the body is absolutely lethal at times. Lineker will start unloading his heavy hooks on his opponent, forcing them to get their hands up, before blasting their midsection will lethal strikes.
Later in his career, we have seen him begin to land hard low leg kicks as well. This truly keeps his opponents guessing at all times, with the striking threat not limited to any one part of the body.
However, Lineker does have some weaknesses that have been exploited in the past. First is his height. Lineker stands at just under 5’3 according to One Championship’s fighter profile. Longer fighters, such as Cory Sandhagen, have been able to capitalize on their longer reach and range against him. The second is the grappling threat. Whilst Lineker has never been KO’d, he has been submitted 3 times, albeit not recently. However, against TJ Dillashaw, Lineker was dominated in the wrestling exchanges. Dillashaw continually landed double leg takedown, getting Lineker to the mat 5 times out of 6 attempts.
Troy “Pretty Boy” Worthen – 7-1
Hailing from the United States, Troy Worthen is a former National Collegiate Wrestling Association All-American. Like many with his martial arts background, he transitioned into MMA and has found great success. He has since begun to round out his MMA skillset, training with the elite Evolve MMA gym.
When you have a background like Worthen’s, it is only to be expected that wrestling will be at the center of one’s game. His strength in the clinch, as well as his expert head position, really allow him to grind out his opponents. Should Worthen get his opponent to the mat, he often gives priority to position over submission. Against Chen Rui, Worthen was able to completely negate the elite striker’s main tools, bringing him down and delivering constant, demoralizing ground and pound.
In terms of his striking acumen, Worthen utilizes his range to throw a variety of kicks. Should his opponent attempt to get in close, he will immediately clinch up or go for the takedown.
Worthen is coming off the first loss of his career, dropping a unanimous decision to Yusup Saadulaev. Whether this impacts him mentally remains to be seen. However, the fight did reveal certain holes in his game. Whilst Worthen constantly initiated the clinch, more often than not maintaining a dominant position, Sadulaev was able to land a huge amount of knees to the body during these exchanges. Worthen was also continuously clipped by Saadulaev’s jab, straight, throughout the fight. Former opponents like Chen Rui have also had success against Worthen with basic boxing combinations.
This is a hard one to predict. Both men have areas where they are dominant, and areas where they are vulnerable. If Lineker can get Worthen into a situation where they are forced to slug it out, you would think’s only going to be one winner. Lineker hits harder and can take a punch better than Worthen. However, if Worthen is in that situation he will likely clinch up and attempt to utilize his wrestling prowess.
One big factor to consider is the difference in experience between these two fighters. Lineker has over 40 fights, most against extremely high-level competition. Alternatively, Worthen is not even into double figures yet and is also coming off his first loss.
This experience may give Lineker the edge. However, Worthen has put the hours in on the wrestling mats so do not looks past him in this fight. It will be intriguing to see how Worthen adapts should Lineker be able to stop his takedowns.
ONE on TNT III
One Championship’s third outing on TNT will be headlined by John Lineker vs Troy Worthen. The event also features fights between Reece McLaren against Yuyo Wakamatsu and Nieky Holzken against John Wayne Parr.
How to Watch ONE On TNT III: https://www.onefc.com/news/