Everyone was caught by surprise by Corey Anderson’s uncharacteristic UFC 244 post-fight celebration, where the usually reserved light heavyweight contender aggressively got in Johnny Walker’s face and started taunting the Brazilian after finishing him with a flurry of punches in the first round.
Former UFC welterweight title challenger turned analyst and commentator Dan Hardy chalked Corey’s reaction down to Walker’s incessant taunting backstage, where ‘The Outlaw’ claims Walker did nothing but mock Anderson for five to ten minutes straight.
“For five minutes or ten minutes all the time before the fight, Johnny Walker was going “Corey, I’m going to knock you out, I’m going to knock you out. So basically he was marinating in this annoyance for five or ten minutes before the fight,” Hardy said on a recent episode of BT Sport’s Open Mat series.
Walker, however, claims Hardy is grossly misinformed. The flashy knockout artist put Hardy on blast in a recent Instagram post, where he demanded an apology from the Brit for spreading false information.
“Hey @danhardymma , get your facts checked before saying stuff that is not true. I did not taunt Corey Anderson at all in the backstage before the fight and would NEVER do such thing. I know that moments like those, specially before the fight, are for focus and concentration. I really expected that a guy like you, who has been a fighter for many years, would ask me if this is true instead of just talking shit about me and painting a picture of me of a person that I am not. @coreya_mma @ricardoalmeidabjj you can come here confirm to Dan and the whole world how we were quiet and focused while waiting for our battle. Congrats and I will be cheering for you in the future,” Walker posted.
Hardy soon got word of Walker’s comments and responded with the following statement.
The fact that you do taunt people, as you did when Corey pinged you with that first punch, makes it all the more believable. If you didn’t, then I apologize for sharing false information. I had no reason to believe it wasn’t true at the time though.— Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) November 4, 2019
“The fact that you do taunt people, as you did when Corey pinged you with that first punch, makes it all the more believable. If you didn’t, then I apologize for sharing false information. I had no reason to believe it wasn’t true at the time though,” Hardy said.
The only way this issue can be resolved is if Anderson details the alleged incident from his perspective. The No. 7-ranked light heavyweight KO’d Walker to extend his win streak to 4-0 and apologized for his erratic post-fight behavior in a backstage interview.