Johnny Walker

Brazil

Crushed in main event loss
Light HeavyweightUFC
January 13, 2024
Walker lost to Magomed Ankalaev via KO (punches) at 2:42 of Round 2 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
Walker's effectiveness in this fight lasted somewhere around two minutes. After that, it was all Ankalaev, and that doesn't even cover the crucial mistake that eventually ended Johnny's evening. Walker is a big, strong guy, and he has a unique style. He does a lot of crazy things in the Octagon that look great if they land, but there's zero doubt Ankalaev was the more complete mixed martial artist. Johnny attempted a half-hearted knee up the middle that Magomed blocked before landing a right hand that floored him. The follow-up shot sent Walker into another galaxy. The 31-year-old Brazilian is notoriously inconsistent and still doesn't have a win over a top-tier contender during his entire UFC run. We very well may have already seen the best he has to offer inside the Octagon, but his aggressive, unorthodox style will likely still give him plenty of staying power.
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Ankalaev rematch scheduled
Light HeavyweightUFC
November 13, 2023
Walker will compete against Magomed Ankalaev in a light heavyweight fight at UFC on ESPN+ 92 on Jan. 13, according to Shaheen Al-Shatti of The Athletic.
ANALYSIS
At UFC 294, Walker and Ankalaev fought to a no-contest after the former was kneed in the face while down. Walker was perceived as being unable to continue, though the aftermath indicates otherwise. With both parties and everyone involved feeling unsatisfied after the chaos at that event, they will rematch in January to settle things once and for all.
Can't continue in no-contest
Light HeavyweightUFC
October 21, 2023
Walker and Magomed Ankalaev fought to a no-contest (accidental foul) at 3:13 of Round 1 at UFC 294 on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
ANALYSIS
An extremely strange night gets even stranger. Walker was struggling early on, at which point he was clipped in the face with a knee from Ankalaev while down. It was an illegal blow. That much isn't in question. Referee Dan Movahedi stopped the action and called in the doctor -- the same doctor involved in the Victor Henry mess from earlier in the evening. It was hard to make out exactly what was said, but it sounded as if the doctor asked Walker what country he was in and if he knew what round it was. Clearly the doc didn't like the answers he received because he told Movahedi that Walker couldn't continue. The decision went over as well as expected, with Johnny eventually pushing the ref and attempting to re-start the fight on his own before things quieted down. This has the feel of another fight the company will have to re-book shortly.
Ankalaev fight scheduled
Light HeavyweightUFC
July 31, 2023
Walker will fight Magomed Ankalaev in a light heavyweight bout at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi on Oct. 21, according to MMAJunkie.com.
ANALYSIS
Walker will continue to fight light heavyweights ranked higher than him in the UFC division's rankings. Ankalaev, currently second, also defeated Anthony Smith for his latest win. This fight could determine who fights Jiri Prochazka or Alex Pereira next for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship, vacated after Jamahal Hill suffered an Achilles injury.
Closing in on title shot after win
Light HeavyweightUFC
May 13, 2023
Walker defeated Anthony Smith via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27) at UFC on ABC 4 on Saturday in Charlotte.
ANALYSIS
Entering as an extremely modest -115 favorite in what was essentially a pick 'em, Walker looked fine, although one can't help but wonder if Smith's sudden lack of durability helped push Johnny across the finish line here. Blessed with a significant size edge over his opponent, Walker did a nice job of pounding Smith's lead leg in the early going. It paid dividends later in the bout. Johnny was definitely responsible for the biggest moments of the fight, although it was somewhat disappointing he couldn't finish Smith off given the fact the latter as ripe for the picking seemingly the entire way. Walker left the cage prior to the decision being announced to have what appeared to be a friendly chat with UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jamahal Hill. The two just fought in February 2019, with Hill winning via first-round knockout in just under three minutes. Walker has won three in a row since, although all three came against middling competition (Smith, Paul Craig, Ion Cutelaba). The fact the Brazilian is closing in on a title shot says more about the lack of depth in the division than Walker's resume.
Headlining May 13 event
Light HeavyweightUFC
February 10, 2023
Walker is scheduled to face Anthony Smith in a light heavyweight matchup as the co-main event at the UFC's May 13 card in Las Vegas, Damon Martin of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Walker most recently defeated Paul Craig at UFC 283 in Rio de Janeiro on Jan. 21, and he will look to stay hot when he takes on Smith. The 30-year-old Brazilian fighter currently boasts a 6-4 record in the UFC.