John Lineker came in over the bantamweight limit for his first defense of the ONE Championship belt Thursday in Malaysia and lost his title on the scale, multiple people with knowledge of the situation told MMA Fighting.
“Hands of Stone” was slated to defend his throne against Fabricio Andrade at ONE on Prime Video 3 on Friday in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia. The bout will proceed as scheduled with Lineker being fined 20 percent of his purse. Lineker is no longer eligible to win the belt, but Andrade will be the bantamweight champion if victorious.
ONE Championship has a unique system that technically doesn’t allow fighters to rehydrate. The bantamweight limit at ONE is 145 pounds. Lineker passed the hydration test but came in at 145.5 pounds, SCMP first reported. He returned hours later, and was heavier than before (145.75).
“When a fighter doesn’t make weight at ONE, he goes back to square zero because he has to make weight and pass the hydration test,” Lineker’s manager Alex Davis told MMA Fighting. “That mistake happened because his scale was off in his room, lighter than the official one. When that happens, you have a second attempt to make weight but you have to pass the hydration test again. He couldn’t do it.
“Having two attempts to make weight in three hours is a bit complicated. That’s the rule and we’ll respect it. Fabricio accepted the fight, and we’ll see John’s situation after the fight.”
According to SCMP, Jeremy Miado, Uali Kurzhev and Lea Bivins have all failed either the hydration or weight check.