John Lineker has agreed to step in and replace the injured Dominick Cruz against Jimmie Rivera at UFC 219 in Las Vegas on December 30th.
Lineker had called for the fight immediately after learning that the former bantamweight champion had been forced to withdraw due to a broken arm, and a couple of weeks later the replacement match-up has now been made official.
The 27-year-old Lineker is less than a month removed from his last fight, a unanimous decision win over Marlon Vera in Brazil that took his overall UFC record to 11-3, including only one loss in his last eight fights.
Nevertheless, he still remains one place behind the No.4 ranked Rivera, who hasn’t lost since back in 2008, with his overall record standing at 21-1, including a perfect 5-0 streak since signing with the UFC back in 2015.
With Lineker Vs Rivera now official, UFC 219 proceeds with a card that as things stand appears to be headined by a women’s featherweight title fight between current champion Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino and Holly Holm, and also includes the likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Edson Barboza, Cynthia Calvillo Vs Carla Esparza and Carlos Condit Vs Neil Magny.
A welterweight title fight between Tyron Woodley and Nate Diaz had also been rumored to be in the works for the event, but as yet the UFC haven’t been able to come to terms with the two fighters with less than six weeks.