John Lineker has inked a multi-fight deal with ONE Championship, the former UFC bantamweight told Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting on Monday.
The UFC shockingly released Lineker (31-9) last week after a 16-fight run with the promotion when he went 12-4.
He's the latest fighter to leave the UFC for the Singapore-based MMA brand following the departures of former champions Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez, and Sage Northcutt.
Lineker’s promotional debut hasn't been booked, but he'll remain in the bantamweight division, which is fought at 145 pounds in ONE.
Lineker, who's a fan favorite with a talent for stoppage wins, was forced to move up from flyweight to bantamweight in 2015 after consistently failing to make weight.
Since the move to 135 pounds, Lineker only missed weight once. But the veteran fighter's late withdrawal from a rematch with Rob Font due to a facial laceration suffered during his weight cut was the final straw for the UFC, according to president Dana White.
"I think it was because he hasn't made weight a few times," White said, according to Cruz. "And I just know that the matchmakers were super frustrated with him. The guy wasn't being professional."