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John Lineker doesn't think UFC will deny him title shot due to weight issues

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

LAS VEGAS -- The scale can sometimes be a tougher opponent for John Lineker than the man set to stand across from him in the Octagon.

In three of Lineker's seven UFC fights, he has come in over the 126-pound flyweight limit. In just about every other one, even if Lineker makes weight he needs at least two tries to do it. And hitting 125, the mark he'll need to compete in a title fight by rule, has been a difficult proposition.

Still, the Brazilian slugger doesn't think his evident weight-cutting issues will deter the UFC from giving him the next bout against champion Demetrious Johnson. Of course, Lineker would have to beat Ian McCall at UFC 183 on Saturday night here at MGM Grand to earn that bout.

"I don't think so, because I don't even think that's going to happen," Lineker told through manager Alex Davis, referring to future weight issues. "I've waited this long and I don't think it's fair for me to wait any longer and I think it'll be fine."

Lineker (24-7) was not a happy guy sitting at media day Thursday. He was clearly fatigued and dehydrated. Lineker admitted he would have preferred to be elsewhere.

"I want to get out of here," he said.

The 25-year-old said he was only a few pounds off and was on pace to make weight Friday.

"The weight is coming off and God-willing everything will be fine and I'll hit it on the first try," Lineker said.

Without any of the weight drama, Lineker would be an easy sell for a title fight. He has the heaviest hands in the flyweight division and is an extremely exciting fighter. Despite the language barrier, Lineker has also shown willingness to promote fights, as he has done on Twitter with McCall.

The two were initially supposed to fight back in November in Brazil, but McCall had to pull out the night before due to a bacterial infection in his blood. Lineker made weight before that bout-that-never-was, but he did it on his second try and didn't make 125, as usual.

The UFC will be in quite the predicament if Lineker wins, because the victor in Saturday's fight will be the clear flyweight No. 1 contender.

"That's my objective: to fight hard, beat him and get my opportunity," Lineker said.