The bout actually took place at a catchweight of 128-pounds after Lineker failed to make weight for the third time in his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) career. Regardless, Lineker continued to show the reason he fully deserves his "Hands of Stone" nickname. Harris had grappling, experience, and his homeland fans on his side, but that wasn't nearly enough to derail Lineker's momentum.
No. 5-ranked Lineker has now racked up a four-fight win streak to solidify himself as one of the most dangerous combatants in the UFC 125-pound division. The bout was a huge contrast of styles with Harris having 13 submission victories in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career. That skillset never came into play in Manchester.
Let's take a look back at Lineker's knockout performance (watch it here) from across the pond:
Many thought Harris would immediately look for takedowns to shut down Lineker's striking, but quite the opposite was true. Harris appeared perfectly content to stand with "Hands of Stone" - and he paid the price for that.
Lineker needed little time to find his range and land a big right hand on Harris. Soon thereafter, the Brazilian heavy hitter wobbled Harris with two big hooks.
The beginning of the end had arrived for Harris.
Lineker started to punish the body with some absolutely brutal punches. Harris ate several but finally succumbed to a devastating hook to the solar plexus. Some follow-up ground and pound wasn't needed to finish an incapacitated Harris. It was a quick and brutal fight that showcased Lineker's tremendous potential.
Potential that will be realized if he can only make the weight.
This obviously wasn't the first time that he came in more than a little heavy. Another missed weight will put his UFC employment in serious jeopardy, so Lineker confirmed that he plans to enlist the help of nutrition guru Mike Dolce. "Hands of Stone" plans to stay at flyweight; hopefully Dolce can help him make the cut to 125-pounds much easier. His talent can't be denied but he'll have to abide by the rules in the future.
A bout featuring Lineker against former title challenger John "Magician" Dodson, who knocked at Darrell Montague at UFC 166, could potentially be the hardest-hitting bout the young UFC flyweight division has ever seen.
Harris looked sluggish in his third UFC bout. He had an ineffective gameplan that never saw him attempt a takedown. If he could've dragged the fight to the mat, Harris would have had a much better chance of winning in England. There was no point in trying to stand and bang with a headhunter like Lineker -- who's never been knocked out. But he has tapped out three times so Harris should have looked for a finishing hold.
Instead he dropped to 1-2 in the Octagon. Harris was also finished in both of his losses - so he could receive his walking papers soon. If and when he does, Harris should be able to remain competitive in smaller promotions throughout Europe.
John Lineker continued to display massive knockout ability in Manchester, but he also continued to miss weight. Will the dangerous Brazilian find himself fighting John Dodson in his next trip to the Octagon?