For Lineker (23-6), 2013 was a sweet and sour year. He won all three of his fights, but missed weight in two of them. Had he not missed weight, Lineker would likely be at the front of the line for a shot at current 125-pound champ Demetrious Johnson.
After missing weight for his last fight, a TKO stoppage of Phil Harris, Lineker enlisted the help of nutrition expert and former fighter Mike Dolce to rectify his weight-cutting problems.
The fight with Bagautinov will be his first with Dolce’s assistance, and he’ll need to make weight if he hopes to score a victory that will move him into title contention.
Bagautinov (12-2) hasn’t had any such trouble making weight, nor has he had any trouble winning.
The Russian fighter made his successful UFC debut in 2013, adding two Octagon victories to a string of wins that is now at 10. Having defeated Marcos Vinicius and Tim Elliott in those first two UFC bouts, a victory over Lineker would immediately propel Bagautinov into title shot consideration.