John Lineker lived up to his ‘Hands Of Stone’ moniker tonight as he battered Brian Kelleher from pillar to post for the best part of three rounds at UFC 224, leading a late KO finish.
Kelleher with an immediate low leg kick. He moves forward, but Lineker unleashes a few powerful punches that backs him up.
Leg kick for Lineker. One in return from Kelleher now as he utilizes movement, circling around Lineker. The Brazilian chops at his lead leg with a couple of kicks.
Jab for Kelleher and then a series of hard shots for Lineker to the body and then upstairs. Hook for Kelleher and that seemed to wobble Lineker for a moment.
Lineker barrels in and Kelleher looks for counters. Kelleher comes moving in and Lineker clobbers him with a big left hook and sends him falling forwards onto the mat.
Lineker follows Kelleher to the mat and tries to unleash more strikes to finish his opponent, but Kelleher hangs in there and bides himself some time to regain his bearings.
He’s then able to work back to his feet. Kelleher with a spinning backfist, but Lineker shakes it off.
Kelleher tries for a takedown, but Lineker stuffs it. Spinning back-kick to the body from Lineker misses. Now one lands for Kelleher.
Lineker wades forward and unloads with hooks, with one catching Kelleher cleanly. He then goes into the clinch, mashing Kelleher into the cage, but he soon manages to get away.
Back to the center of the cage they go and Lineker lands solidly to the body. Now a left hand to the head.
Body punch for Lineker. Now a couple more. Again to the body then a punch upstairs. now he’s flicking the jab out. Big power differential between the two fighters here.
Front kick for Kelleher, but then Lineker gets aggressive with a combination of punches. Lineker continuing to go on the offensive and Kelleher is finding it difficult to detter him.
A couple of body punches seem to hurt Kelleher and he tries his best not to show that he’s wincing. Lineker noticed though and continues to apply pressure and then lands another hard punch to the midsection.
Kelleher very much on the defensive here As Lineker continues to look for opportunities to land hooks. A couple of lefts get through and Kelleher is really struggling to find a way to get into this fight.
Brief clinch and then back to striking distance with another flurry from Lineker. He tries a spinning backfist at the end of the round, but he doesn’t fully commit to it.
Lineker looking to work more punches early in the third and Kelleher moves in for a takedown. Lineker counters with a guillotine choke as he stays upright. However, Kelleher does manage to land a takedown and then gets out of the submission.
However, Lineker manages to stand, though Kelleher is still working for another takedown. However, Lineker is able to power his way out of danger.
A couple of left hands connect for Lineker as he gets back to work. Punch connects for Kelleher. Now a front kick to the body.
Jab for Lineker. Right hand for Kelleher. Body punches for Lineker. He’s taken a bit of a breather early in the round, but he’s starting to fire up again now as he rampages forward with thunderous hooks and rocks his opponent’s head around.
Kelleher has been taking these shots well so far, but then Lineker stalks him again and wings another left hook that catches Kelleher right on the chin and sends him slamming backwards onto the canvas for a stunning KO finish at 3.43mins of the third round.