The news of the Feb. 11 bout being removed from the card comes straight from ONE bantamweight champion Fernandes (24-4). The greatest competitor in the promotion's bantamweight history took to his Instagram account on Wednesday morning to announce that his opponent, Lineker (34-9), tested positive for COVID-19 and he expected the fight to be rescheduled for a later date.
Bibiano Fernandes vs John Lineker postponed after Lineker tests positive for COVID-19
"It is with a heavy heart that I have to announce the fight between me and John Lineker has been postponed," Fernandes wrote. "Unfortunately John Lineker tested positive for COVID 19 and is unable to fight at this time. I wish him a full and quick recovery. I’m sorry to all of my fans for the disappointing news. I will be ready once the fight is back on!"
The bouts cancellation has to be frustrating for the Brazilian bantamweight great. The two-time champion has not fought since Oct. 2019, after winning the third and final fight in his trilogy of bouts against former champion Kevin Belingon. In the year and a half he has been out of action, "The Flash" publicly aired his frustration with the lack of fights he has received in the twilight years of his career. He turns 42 in March.
This will be the second time that Fernandes vs Lineker has been postponed. The fight was originally set to go down in December of 2021, before ONE Championship's tenth-anniversary event ONE X was postponed and rescheduled for March of this year. It seems likely that this battle of top-level Brazilian bantamweights could be added to that event next month.
Following a 12-4 run in the UFC, "Hands of Stone" signed with ONE Championship in 2019. He is unbeaten over three fights, with the last two being knockout victories.