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UFC 224 live blog: John Lineker vs. Brian Kelleher

John Lineker and Brian Kelleher
John Lineker and Brian Kelleher will clash on the UFC 224 main card Saturday night.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This is the UFC 224 live blog for John Lineker vs. Brian Kelleher, a bantamweight bout at Saturday night’s UFC event at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro.

Lineker, winner of five of six bouts since making the move up to 135 pounds, fights Kelleher, who has won three of four fights since making his Octagon debut last June, on the main card.

Check out the UFC 224 live blog below.

Round 1: The referee for this bantamweight fight is Leon Roberts. They touch them up, and right away Kelleher circles to Lineker’s off hand. He comes in and Lineker slams a couple of shots into his body. Now a pretty nice leg kick from Lineker, and that made Kelleher dance away. He continues to circle, and meanwhile Lineker with a couple more leg kicks. The Brazlian is holding center, and now digs in and rips off a series of shots into Kelleher’s body. Yet Kelleher lands a crisp left hook flush, and Lineker felt that. He backs up. An uppercut from Kelleher after a takedown flirtation. Wow, there’s a huge shot from Lineker which drops Kelleher! He drops in for the finish as the crowd and Rio erupts, but Kelleher snatches his head in snug and pulls him close. He is recovering! Now Kelleher scoots to the fence and he’s up. Nice survival there after getting clipped. Now a spinning backfist lands from Kelleher! Crazy round here. Lineker narrowly misses on a big uppercut as Kelleher changes levels on him. Spinning body kick from Kelleher, and now Lineker comes forward winging bombs. He lands a left, and now has Kelleher on the fence, tied up with underhooks. They break. Lineker liftd his left and then drops a right hand home. Good looking round there, but it belongs to the Brazilian. MMA Fighting scores R1 for Lineker, 10-9.

Round 2: Kelleher’s corner asks him to set up his takedowns a little more with punches. We’ll see if he listens. Lineker to the center, and Kelleher orbits. Lineker lands a nice one-two into Kelleher’s rib cage. Lineker’s release is so quick. Another big body punch from Lineker, and Kelleher rolls around the length of the cage. Nice angle-play here from Lineker, just cutting off exit points. He’s now landing left hands and tries to slam an overhand right home. That misses, but the action picks up. Lineker landing here with volume, and Kelleher trying to time out a counter. He’s eating some shots, but nothing flush. That body of his is getting worked, though. Lineker slamming away at the hollow beneath his puts. Now he has Kelleher reeling, and he’s chasing around throwing big shots. Kelleher narrowly misses on a counter, but he’s far more unsteady on his feet now than he was at the beginning of that sequence. Lineker with another series of body blows and then a left hook. Now a right hand from Lineker. Still, Kelleher isn’t going anywhere. He moves forward, and lands a nice straight elbow. They trade body shots. Lineker even smiles during that wheelhouse exchange. Now Lineker changes levels and walks Kelleher to the fence, where he lets him go. Another body shot from Lineker; he is going to make tomorrow morning an unhappy thing for Kelleher. MMA Fighting scores R2 for Lineker, 10-9 (20-18 overall)

Round 3: Kelleher has been super tough, but he’s going to have to dig deep to pull this one out. Crowd is behind Lineker, and Kelleher is well behind on the scorecards. Kelleher’s corner wants urgency. He takes center, and from a crouch Lineker goes back to work on the body. Now Kelleher drops and tries to shoot in for a takedown, but Lineker thwarts and actually looks for a guillotine. Can’t get it...yet. Kelleher ends up on top along the fence, and boom, he’s in a position to score here. He postures up, and now stands, and Lineker stands with him as Kelleher looked for a guillotine of his own. Now Lineker, along the fence, torques Kelleher off of him and they separate, then reset. Back to center. Lineker happy to sit back a bit more here, but he isn’t being inactive. He misses on an overhand right, and now he’s bobbing off of a series of jabs. Now Lineker comes to life throwing big shots in volume, and he’s landing! But again Kelleher somehow weathers the storm. He’s on the fence, and wow! Lineker just landed a huge left hand on the fence that drops Kelleher right there on the fence. He dropped like he’d been shot, straight as a board, and the fights over. Knockout for Lineker!

UFC 224 official results: John Lineker def. Brian Kelleher via KO (punch) at 3:43 of R3