More than anything that actually happens in the cage, John Lineker's Achilles' Heel has been cutting weight. When he stepped onto the scales ahead of his UFC 169 bout with Ali Bagautinov, the question surrounding the fight wasn't who would win, it was whether Lineker would actually be able to make the 126-pound limit.
Lineker has been one of the UFC's most successful fighters in the flyweight division and is currently riding a four-fight winning streak. His three most recent fights have all been TKO victories.
That said, entering tonight, he missed weight in three of five flyweight fights. At UFC on Fox 3 he clocked in at 127 pounds. He made weight without incident at UFC on Fuel TV 6 and UFC on FX 8 but came in at 129 pounds at UFC 163 and 128 pounds at UFC Fight Night 30.
When he stepped onto the scale and checked in at 127 pounds, it seemed like the Brazilian was once again going to sacrifice part of his paycheck and spark questions about his job security. However, as is standard, he was given an additional hour to make weight and clocked in at 126 pounds when he stepped back on the scale.
John Lineker made weight at 126lbs on his 2nd try. That said - I'm still picking Ali Bagautinov to win tomorrow. #UFC169— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) January 31, 2014
That is relatively good news for Lineker, given the fact that going 2-4 in weight cutting would be unprecedented and would almost certainly draw some sort of action from UFC brass. However, Lineker has been so successful in the super-shallow flyweight division that he almost certainly would be fighting for the belt right now if it wasn't for his propensity for missing weight. Even though me made the 126-pound limit in time, it still does little to silence his doubters.
He faces a stiff test Saturday against Ali Bagautinov. The surging Russian is 2-0 in the UFC and is riding a 10-fight winning streak.
That said, should Lineker ever work his way to a title fight, the biggest challenge of all would likely be making the rigid 125-pound weight limit.