UFC

Lineker misses weight for 3rd time

John Lineker weighs in
Three strikes? The No. 5-ranked flyweight's title hopes may now be squashed.
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Mike Chiappetta

Mike Chiappetta has documented the fast-growing sport of mixed martial arts since 2006 for news organizations including SB Nation, NBCSports.com, FIGHT! Magazine, AOL and ESPN. He appears regularly as an analyst on countless television shows and radio programs, including CBS Radio and MMA Beat. Follow him on Twitter.

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MANCHESTER, England

It’s strike three for John Lineker. The No. 5-ranked flyweight has missed weight for the third time in five UFC fights after checking in at 128 pounds for his UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Munoz matchup with Phil Harris.

Lineker weighed in without a towel but wasn’t close to making the 126-pound cutoff. He elected not to attempt cutting the additional two pounds, instead taking a 25 percent purse penalty, a number that was increased from the usual norms because of his repeated infractions.

His opponent Phil Harris hit 125.

Lineker (22-6) has won three consecutive fights in the UFC, including back-to-back TKOs of Jose Maria and Azamat Gashimov, but whatever championship aspirations he has in the division may be short-circuited by his own inability to make the required weight.

His first miscue came in his Octagon debut. He weighed in at 127 to fight Louis Gaudinot, and in the ensuing fight, succumbed to a guillotine choke.

In the two fights afterward, he seemed to solve the problem, making weight both times. But in August, against Maria, he regressed, tipping the scales at 129 pounds.

It remains to be seen whether the UFC will demand a move to bantamweight, or if any other action is taken following his latest problem.

All of the other fighters on the card made weight. In the main event, Mark Munoz hit 186 while Lyoto Machida in his middleweight debut, was a chiseled 185. In an interesting twist to the friendly rivalry between them, Munoz had Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Rener Gracie as his cornerman while Machida had Rener’s brother, Ryron, alongside him.

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