But Stamann’s bad luck proved to be Lineker’s good fortune as the Michigan native was forced to withdraw from this weekend’s event at the start of the month, clearing a lane for the Brazilian to get back in the cage and put all this frustration behind.
“Absolutely none — I was born to do this,” said Lineker when asked if there was any hesitation in accepting a short-notice assignment against Font.
Part of it surely comes from not wanting to be the guy who publicly calls for an opportunity to compete and then turns down a fight a handful of days later, but it also helps that the two have already spent 15 minutes in the cage together, so Lineker is aware of what to expect and what he needs to do in order to secure a victory on Saturday night in Greenville.
The two squared off just over three years ago at UFC 198 in Curitiba, with Lineker walking away with a unanimous decision win. Font has gone 4-2 since then, scoring stoppage wins over Matt Schnell, Douglas Silva de Andrade and Thomas Almeida, as well as earning a clean sweep of the scorecards against Sergio Pettis last time out.
“I think that fighting a guy a second time, seeing them across that ring again can take a little bit of anxiety out of the fight,” Lineker said of facing Font for a second time. “You have an idea of how he feels.
“He is good and tough,” he said of his New England-based opponent. “He will be different this time around and so will I. I see us coming in there and having fun and entertaining everyone.”
And once the dust settles and the smoke clears, Lineker is hopeful that he can maintain a steady schedule, fighting as frequently as possible, not only because he wants to, but because the UFC fans want to see him competing regularly as well.
“I need to fight, I love to fight, and the fans want to watch me fight.”
Thanks to Stamann’s withdrawal, everyone gets what they want this weekend.