After partaking in one of the most heated rivalries in the history of ONE Championship, the next chapter of John Lineker’s bantamweight tenure will kick off at ONE Fight Night 13: Allazov vs. Grigorian on Saturday, August 5.
“Hands of Stone” will return to the ring inside Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, that evening, where he’ll meet “The Fighting God” Kim Jae Woong in a pivotal showdown.
Lineker will be hoping to make another run at bantamweight gold, which he earned by defeating the legendary Bibiano Fernandes via second-round knockout at ONE: Lights Out in March 2022.
The crowning moment came off the heels of a three-fight winning streak in the weight bracket – against mainstays Muin Gafurov, Kevin Belingon, and Troy Worthen.
His world title reign was short-lived, however. The Brazilian superstar was stripped of the belt for failing to make weight ahead of his first matchup with Fabricio Andrade at ONE on Prime Video 3.
That bout was ruled a no-contest due to an illegal shot from “Wonder Boy,” but the young upstart dominated Lineker to claim the vacant crown in their rematch at ONE Fight Night 7 this past February.
“Hands of Stone” remains top-ranked in the stacked bantamweight division, however, and he’ll be looking to protect that spot against Kim, who also has a point to prove in their crucial collision.
Once a top-five contender in the featherweight division, “The Fighting God” moved up to seek glory in the heavier weight class last year.
He announced himself in the bracket in perfect style by defeating former king Kevin Belingon at ONE on Prime Video 4, but he couldn’t keep up that momentum when he returned for a catchweight battle against Shoko Sato in January.
Kim will be looking to return to winning ways against another former bantamweight titleholder in Lineker on 5th August.
With “Hands of Stone” about as stubborn as they come, Kim will have his work cut out for him at ONE Fight Night 13, but the South Korean should be able to tap into his experience if he gets caught in deep waters against the 45-fight veteran.
Who comes out on top is anybody’s guess, but fans can bet that this one will be fireworks from start to finish when it goes down.