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John Lineker: Ian McCall ‘is only a stepping stone before I fight for the UFC title’

Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

Originally slated for November, John Lineker vs. Ian McCall is finally going to happen.

The top-ranked flyweights, who had their UFC Fight Night 56 bout cancelled after "Uncle Creepy" felt sick after the weigh-ins in November, will collide at the UFC 183 card in Las Vegas on Jan. 31. The Brazilian is confident that the extra time to prepare for McCall will result in a victory.

"I had a great training camp in my city for this fight, and wrapped it up at American Top Team in Florida, working on my wrestling, something I believe I will need a lot in this fight," Lineker told "I was ready when the fight was cancelled, so I just kept training, focusing on what I needed to work on. This extra time helped me a lot, for sure, to get ready for this fight."

Winner of five of his past six UFC bouts, with four knockouts, Lineker expects McCall to "run a lot" and go for takedowns to avoid his heavy hands.

"I’m sure he will move a lot in the first round, like he did in his past few fights. He will run a lot and then try to take me down," he said. "That’s his game and the only way I he thinks he can beat me. He will try to take me down and ground and pound for three rounds, but I’m ready. I’m more than ready for every situation.

"My game is simple, easy to study, but I’m always adding more weapons in order to become a complete fighter," he continued. "I’m more than going straight forward, defending takedowns, and landing punches. I have new weapons, and I will show that I’m complete."

The weight cut, always an important factor in Lineker’s bouts, is under control.

"The weight cut is perfect," he guarantees. "I had a problem with the weigh-in time (at UFN 56), but I easily cut that extra weight. No problem at all. I won’t have any problems anymore."

With back-to-back wins over Brad Pickett and Iliarde Santos, McCall is gunning for a third bout with UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, and Lineker believes that a win at UFC 183 should guarantee a shot at the gold for himself.

"I believe the winner of this fight will earn a title shot, especially me, that haven’t fought for the title yet," Lineker said. "Beating McCall, I believe I will fight for the title. I will prove that I deserve a title shot."

"Mighty Mouse" is unbeaten since cutting down to 125 pounds, riding a seven-fight winning streak, and Lineker sees himself as a good match-up against the dominant champion.

"He’s fast and I don’t move too much, but he will have to come closer and that’s when I’m coming in," he said. "It’s a good match-up."

"I consider him the best flyweight in the world today, but I have to fight him to see if he really is," he added. "I believe in me. I will fight him and I will win. McCall is only a stepping stone before I fight for the UFC title."

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