There’s plenty of opportunity these days in the UFC flyweight division for fighters to insert themselves into the title equation. Champion Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez are widely regarded as the best 125 pound fighters in the UFC, and they are due to square off in a rematch at The Ultimate Fighter Season 18 Finale on Nov. 30. So, with that in mind, other contenders need to impress in order to work their way up the ladder. John Lineker and Phil Harris get the chance to shine this weekend at UFC Fight Night 30 in England. Lineker is No. 5 in the UFC’s top 10 rankings.
Lineker has surprising power for the flyweight division, as he has registered 10 career knockouts in his 22 wins. He began his UFC tenure on a down note, losing via submission in a thrilling fight against Louis Gaudinot. However, he’s had an impressive run since that defeat, winning three straight fights; his most recent effort was a TKO of Jose Maria Tome at UFC 163. One area of concern is that Lineker has missed weight for two of his four Octagon appearances. He better not allow that trend to continue in Manchester.
As for Harris, he’s been around the block in his career having fought 33 times, with most of those contests having come in the U.K. He’s 1-and-1 in the UFC. Harris defeated Ulysses Gomez in his last fight, which was a good bounce back effort after losing to Darren Uyenoyama. Harris is a submission specialist, with 13 of his 22 career wins having come via that route. He will likely look to utilize his ground skills against Lineker, who has been submitted three times in his career.
Two flyweights looking to make a statement should make for a solid fight this weekend. If Harris is able to get the fight to the ground, he stands a chance. However, if Lineker is able to keep the fight standing, it’s likely he will be on his way to yet another impressive victory and will take another step up the ladder to a possible title shot.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports