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Johnny Walker cleared to return following surgery for celebratory shoulder injury

Light heavyweight Johnny Walker is cleared to fight again after hurting his shoulder in his celebration dance following a win over Misha Cirkunov.

MMA: UFC 235-Cirkunov vs Walker
Johnny Walker
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Light heavyweight rising prospect Johnny Walker is cleared to get back into the Octagon after an unusual injury.

A knockout artist, the Brazilian stopped Misha Cirkunov with a flying knee just 36 seconds into his last bout, on March 2. But he ended up dislocating his shoulder while doing his celebratory ‘worm dance’ in the Octagon, which required surgery to fix. However, Walker’s manager Lucas Lutkus told ESPN Johnny is now ready to come back and they want a top-ten opponent next.

“A top-ten fighter is what we have been talking with the UFC about,” Lutkus said. “He is No. 10 now with (Alexander) Gustafsson and (Jimi) Manuwa retired, so it is what makes sense.” Lutkus said. “Honestly, Johnny will take on any name offered. Be it a vet like Glover (Teixeira) or a prospect like (Dominick) Reyes or (Aleksander) Rakic, he loves every possibility of matchup.”

Before his win over Cirkunov, Johnny Walker (17-3) had already scored knockout wins over Justin Ledet and Khalil Rountree, which expanded his current win streak to nine straight victories. The 27-year-old’s last loss, a knockout defeat, happened in June 2016.

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