It will take more than one TKO loss in the Octagon for flashy light heavyweight striker Johnny Walker to change his ways, if the possibility even exists at all. Paired up against fellow finisher Nikita Krylov at UFC Brasilia, the 27-year-old expects to score yet another ‘of the night’ performance bonus by staying true to his wild style..
In an interview wight Ag Fight, Walker revealed that he was not feeling entirely mentally healthy when he met Corey Anderson in his last outing. And it’s because of that he claims he picked up his first loss in the Octagon, a TKO defeat back in November.
“In order to fight, you need be 100% there, mentally. I was prepared, strong, with great cardio. I even defended his takedowns, but my mind was not good. I was stressed about two things before the fight; one even before my surgery that kept bombarding me. Out there it’s 100% about your mind. I was not my usual self, it seemed like I was just waiting for him to knock me out. I didn’t throw strikes, nothing. I was broken in my mind. I don’t want to take away his merit, he’s a great fighter, but I wouldn’t lose to him. I don’t accept this loss, but we will meet again.”
Now scheduled to take on Krylov in March, Walker believes the match favors him, claiming Nikita has the perfect style for an opponent. The resulting style clash should lead to a fun, entertaining bout. Despite the loss to Anderson, the Brazilian isn’t about to change the way he fights, and will pursue yet another bonus in Brazil, the fourth one of his UFC career.
“He’s a good opponent, a good matchup. In fact, they are all good matchups. The harder the opponent, the better. I learn more, I attack their weak spot, I see what I need to improve. It will be a good fight for me. He fights the way I want my opponent to fight. I’ll be fighting at home again, I’ll try to score another bonus no matter what. My fights always need to have a bonus. Last time it went to my opponent, but there is always a bonus. He (Nikita) scores lots of points. He kicks and tries to go for the face, but he is not like me. I kick to take your head off, or your arm. He doesn’t know how to fight like that, so it will be perfect.”
Before his loss to Corey Anderson in November 2019, Johnny Walker (17-4) was on a three-fight winning streak in the Octagon, with knockout wins over Khalil Rountree, Justin Ledet and Misha Cirkunov.
UFC Fight Night 170 takes place on March 14. So far, no main event was announced for the card, but a welterweight bout between Gilbert Burns and Demian Maia will be the night’s co-main event.