(James Goyder is the owner/editor of AsianMMA.com)
Troy Worthen stepped up at late notice to face John Lineker in a bantamweight bout at ONE on TNT Part III. He has originally been scheduled to take on Shuya Kamikubo while the Brazilian was booked to fight Stephen Loman.
A positive Covid—19 test for Loman caused a last minute reshuffle and Worthen found himself facing Lineker instead at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The UFC veteran has far too much for the Sanford MMA representative who was knocked out with 25 seconds remaining in the opening round.
From the opening bell Lineker set out his stall to walk his opponent down and wing hard hooks to the body and head. Worthen was tentatively trying to counter with kicks but was given a brief pause when a right hook from the Brazilian strayed below the waist line.
The fight resumed and Lineker was on the front foot again, firing hard hooks to the body. Worthen landed a body kick but was on the receiving end of a glancing left uppercut followed by a hard left hook.
A left hand from Worthen seemed to catch a Lineker off balance and he stumbled slightly. But the Brazilian was undeterred and continued to march forwards, landing some heavy shots to the body and head.
Worthen shot for his first takedown of the fight but it was easily stuffed. Another kick from the American was perfectly timed by Lineker who swept out his standing leg.
With Worthen anticipating more hooks to the body Lineker switches strategy and flew a straight right which connected clean. It dropped the American hard and the follow up punch left him out cold in the canvass.
With the win John Lineker moved up to 34-9 and it is difficult to question his title credentials. Worthen drops to 7-2 but deserves credit for stepping up to take the fight at very little notice.
There was also a big win for Yuya Wakamatsu (14-4). He showcased some impressive takedown defence to beat Reece McLaren (14-8) by decision and move within touching distance of a flyweight title shot.
Rae Yoon Ok (14-3) will be fighting Eddie Alvarez next week. He beat an exhausted Marat Gafurov (18-4) by decision to earn a shot at the former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion.
ONE on TNT Part III results:
- John Lineker def. Troy Worthen via KO (Punch) at 4:35 of R1
- Yuya Wakamatsu def. Reece McLaren via Decision (Unanimous)
- Rae Yoon Ok def. Marat Gafurov via Decision (Unanimous)
- Miao Li Tao (6-3) def. Ryuto Sawada (14-6-1) via Decision (Unanimous)
- Muay Thai: Nieky Holzken def. John Wayne Parr via KO (Head Kick) at 1:23 in R2