Light heavyweight Johnny Walker feels ready to put on an impressive performance at UFC Vegas 48’s main event. After a lackluster outing against Thiago Santos, which he lost via unanimous decision, the Brazilian is betting on an improved version of himself to go back to his old, violent ways against the rising Jamahal Hill.
In an interview on Super Lutas’ YouTube channel, Walker emphasized how he has evolved ever since the Santos fight. After analyzing his own performance, Johnny says he has been able to detect what he did wrong and fix the holes for the fight against Hill.
Furthermore, the Brazilian believes that Jamahal and Thiago share some of the same similarities, which made his preparation easier for Saturday’s main event.
“A fighter’s evolution, we do that everyday,” Walker said. “The technical, the psychological aspects, how we understand the game. We acquire that as we become more experienced. After that fight (against Santos), especially, because that was five rounds. We spent a long time inside the Octagon. 25 minutes of trading shots is a long time. I’m sure I’ll be able to find the right timing for this next fight. I’ll be able to move in, move out and change my strategy or listen to my corner. Sometimes I just have to feel it and not just listen to my corner.”
“Hill is a southpaw, just like Marreta,” Walker said. “My camp was not that different. When he’s striking, he raises his chin up too much. That’s a good moment for me to catch him. I’ll be fighting MMA, though. I’m going out there to kick, punch, take him down, wrestle and even do capoeira. I’ve been training a lot of capoeira, too.”
The aforementioned unanimous decision loss to Santos happened in October 2021, in a fight considered by many pundits as one of the worst of the year. Before that, Walker (18-6) scored a knockout win over Ryan Spann, back in Septmeber 2020.
Now, Johnny is expected to take on Hill at UFC Vegas 48’s main event. The light heavyweight bout is scheduled to take place at the UFC Apex, in Las Vegas, on February 19.