John Lineker suffered his first defeat as a bantamweight in the UFC against former champion T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 207 on Dec. 30, and will be sidelined from training from a while.
Lineker confirmed to MMA Fighting on Tuesday that he broke his jaw in the opening round, after being hit by a head kick in the first minute of the fight, but won’t need to undergo surgery. According to the Brazilian, doctors said he should be cleared to train in two to three months.
“I felt a pop right away,” said Lineker, who won’t be able to eat anything but soft food for two weeks. “I wasn’t dizzy or anything like that, but I felt a pop. I thought ‘it was just the kick, no problem,’ but it start to hurt a lot in the second round. I truly felt it in the third, when I took all of his punches."
During his post-fight medical exams, Lineker didn’t feel any pain at all, but that changed when he tried to eat.
“I left the Octagon and talked to the doctors, everything was normal,” he said. “I could move my jaw, all normal, so they cleared me and said to let them know if I felt anything. When I went to another room to eat something and watch the fights, I felt the pain and it didn’t stop.
“It was time to go back to the hotel, and I couldn’t handle the pain anymore. I told my wife to call my manager, and I couldn’t wait until the next morning. We called the UFC doctor, and they sent me back to the hotel to do some exams, and a MRI showed two fractures."
The Nevada Athletic Commission handed Lineker a six-month medical suspension.