UFC Fight Night 45 Fight Breakdown: John Lineker (-285) vs. Alptekin Ozkilic (+243)

john-lineker One of the main card fights at UFC Fight Night 45 is a three-round flyweight bout between John “Hands of Stone” Lineker and Alptekin “The Turkish Delight” Ozkilic. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Lineker as a -285 favorite (bet $285 to win $100) while Ozkilic is a +243 underdog (bet $100 to win $243). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Lineker at -280 and Ozkilic at +200, and so far there has been slight action on Lineker as the lines have tightened. I agree with the slight action on Lineker as I am also picking him to win the fight. Here’s why. Lineker (23-7) is one of the top flyweights in the UFC. The 24-year-old Brazilian is 4-2 overall in the UFC with wins over Phil Harris, Yasuhiro Urushitani, Azamat Gashimov and Jose Maria Tome with his only losses coming to Ali Bagautinov and Louis Gaudinot. Lineker is one of the most powerful pound-for-pound punchers in the UFC, hence his nickname “Hands of Stone.” He has 11 knockout wins in his career, which is an absurd number for a 125 pounder, and he also has three submissions to go along with those T/KOs. He realistically could be a title contender, but his biggest problem so far has been making weight, as he’s failed to make the 126lb maximum on three separate occasions. Despite missing weight yet again in his last bout and losing, the UFC is giving Lineker another chance to redeem himself when he takes on Ozkilic in a fight that stylistically caters to Lineker, but which could prove to be an uphill battle should he once again fail to come into the fight with the proper conditioning. Ozkilic (9-2) is 1-1 in the UFC with a win over Darren Uyenoyama and a loss to Louis Smolka. He is only 28 years old and is still improving, and you have to keep in mind that while he hasn’t looked great in the UFC, both of his bouts were taken on short notice. With a full camp, Ozkilic should have a better gas tank, which hindered him badly in his fight with Smolka as he was dominating early only to tire and falter later in the fight and have it cost him. With his combination of high-level wrestling chops as well as powerful punching, Ozkilic is a lot to handle for most of the 125ers in the UFC but going up against a fighter who hits just as hard as him in Lineker and who will look to stand and bang, it could cost him. Ozkilic can win this fight, but he’ll have to use his wrestling to do so, because while he does have decent striking it is not even close to Lineker’s and the more time he spends with Lineker on the feet, the more danger he will face. I believe Lineker will be able to keep the fight on the feet and hurt Ozkilic with his strikes. It’s possible the fight goes the distance, but I think it’s even more likely that Lineker hurts Ozkilic with body shots and finishes him off late in the fight via TKO. Even at the high juice, I believe this is a favorite or pass situation on Lineker as I see him winning this fight. The problem with Lineker is that he often misses weight, so there’s no way you can play him if he fails to make weight or looks horrible on the scale. If he looks good, though, he could be worth putting into a parlay but this is a fight that is very dependent on how the fighter looks at the official weigh-ins.

Written by Adam Martin.

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