UFC flyweight John Lineker not working with Mike Dolce for UFC 169

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John Lineker was doing great with his new diet, but he is no longer working with Mike Dolce.

The Brazilian flyweight, who has missed weight in three of his five UFC appearances, started working with Dolce after a first-round TKO victory over Phil Harris, but he has changed his plans.

Lineker’s manager Alex Davis explained the decision to leave Dolce before his flyweight bout with Ali Bagautinov at UFC 169 on Feb. 1.

"It got a little impracticable to work with Mike Dolce because of the distance and the communication barrier," Davis told MMAFighting.com. "He started the diet, but it was tough to continue, so we decided to work with Dr. Marcio Aranha, a great professional from Curitiba. Lineker is lighter than ever going into a fight. He’s doing great. Dr. Aranha identified the problem and fixed it. He’s amazing now."

The problem, according to Davis, was anxiety.

"(Aranha) changed his diet and worked on his anxiety," he said. "That’s something I didn’t know. Sometimes, when you get too anxious, it affects your weight cut. When you get closer to the weigh-ins and think you won’t make weight, you start producing cortisol and retain more liquid than you normally would.

"Now, Lineker won’t get there too heavy. He used to weight 147 pounds two weeks before the fight, and he’s at 140 today. We’re going to American Top Team on Wednesday to finish the training camp."

Lineker has won four in a row in the UFC with three consecutive knockouts, and Davis believes that training at ATT will get him ready for the next level, starting with Bagautinov.

"We have to praise his team in Paranagua in Brazil, but you get to a point where it’s hard to fight guys at Bagautinov’s level, Demetrious Johnson’s, without leaving Paranagua. The major issue in Brazil is lack of training structure. He trained at ATT for his last fight and felt how it's like to have a team around you, and he will have it again this time."

Bagautinov enters the bout riding a 10-fight win streak, and Alex Davis expects a title shot for Lineker with a victory.

"If he goes there, makes weight and wins in a good fight, he will fight for the title," Davis said. "But we should remember that the Russian also wants to win to earn a shot at the title. He’s really tough, we need to respect him. But I believe in John. He will do another great fight, but we need to do everything the right way."

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