Johnny Walker is getting the fight he is lobbying for.
UFC 235 is happening in two weeks and the Brazilian fighter has accepted to meet Misha Cirkunov on the opposite side of the Octagon under the card. The Latvian-Canadian mixed martial artist was supposed to fight Ovince Saint Preux but was pulled out of it during the weekends.
After learning about the pullout, the 26-year-old light heavyweight unveiled his desire to replace Saint Preux and fight Cirkunov next month. UFC 235 is happening on March 2 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas headlined by a title match between Jon Jones and Anthony Smith.
Cirkunov is one of the top light heavyweight prospects outside the UFC’s rankings and is coming off a first-round submission win over Patrick Cummins. The 14-4 fighter snapped his two-fight losing streak with the result of his Fight Night 138 match last October.
The Rio de Janeiro fighter, on the other hand, boosted his reputation after Saturday night’s three-move combo; dropping Justin Ledet to his second MMA loss. Walker finished him at the 15-second mark of the opening round with a spinning back fist at Fight Night 144 in Brazil.
“I’m ready, whoever wants to fight me, Russians, Americans, I don’t care… I do what I love I was born to do this and I do this for everyone here,” Walker said after winning his career’s 16th victory.
“We never imagine how a fight will end, you just need to get ready for anything that happens inside the Octagon. Today, I just wanted to fight and have fun there. I still want to put on much better shows than this. Each day I will improve and be better.”
Walker is at the height of his passion for fighting and is now willing to re-enter the fighting cage no matter how short his time for training would be. “I want to fight again. I want to fight again tonight,” he said after defeating Ledet at UFC Fortaleza.
Exerted No Energy
Walker is an alumnus of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series who also kicked off his MMA debut with a first-round knockout of Khalil Rountree at UFC Argentina. After his quick work of Ledet, the Rio de Janeiro native revealed that he almost didn’t break a sweat.
“I sweat a lot when I warm up and I haven’t made energy after I knock him out. Then I had true commemoration, spending my energy because I was so excited,” Walker said in an interview with MMA Fighting.
Below is the full UFC 235 fight card.
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
- Champ Jon Jones vs. Anthony Smith – for the light heavyweight title
- Champ Tyron Woodley vs. Kamaru Usman – for the welterweight title
- Ben Askren vs. Robbie Lawler
- Tecia Torres vs. Weili Zhang
- Cody Garbrandt vs. Pedro Munhoz
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET)
- Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Jeremy Stephens
- Misha Cirkunov vs. Johnny Walker
- Alejandro Perez vs. Cody Stamann
- Mickey Gall vs. Diego Sanchez
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:15 p.m. ET)
- Charles Byrd vs. Edmen Shahbazyan
- Macy Chiasson vs. Gina Mazany
- Frankie Saenz vs. Marlon Vera
- Hannah Cifers vs. Polyana Viana
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Johnny Walker and Instagram/Misha Cirkunov