Two former flyweight contenders who have moved up in weight for different reasons are on a collision course that leads to the main event of UFC Fight Night 96 on Oct. 1.
John Dodson (18-7), a longtime top flyweight contender, meets John Lineker (28-7) in the main event of an FS1 show in Portland, Ore. at the Moda Center. Dodson is currently ranked as the No. 9 contender to champion Dominick Cruz, while Lineker is the No. 5 contender.
Dodson, after two losses to flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, moved up to bantamweight, a division he would be giving up significant size to almost everyone. But in his return, he finished Manny Gamburyan on April 16 in just 37 seconds with punches. Dodson started in UFC as a bantamweight, winning season 14 of the The Ultimate Fighter in late 2011, knocking out future bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw.
In his case he chose to move up since it would have been difficult to get another shot at Johnson after being dominated for five rounds.
Lineker was a knockout artist at flyweight, but missed weight in four of his seven UFC fights scheduled at 125, and after the fourth miss, was ordered up a weight class. He's gone 3-0 as a bantamweight, again giving away significant size and reach to most opponents, and is coming off a knockout win over Michael McDonald on July 13 in Sioux Falls.
Both are known for punching power for their size. Dodson has knocked out five of nine UFC foes and Lineker has knocked out five of 11 foes.