UFC light heavyweight contender Johnny Walker is expecting to deliver an “explosive” and “unpredictable” performance against Jamahal Hill this weekend.
Throughout his UFC career so far, we’ve pretty much come to expect those words to be incorporated into Walker’s game plan. From his brutal elbows against Khalil Rountree to his flying knee against Misha Cirkunov, not many fighters on the promotion’s roster, barring his compatriot Michel Pereira, have fans waiting for something crazy quite like the #10-ranked 205lber.
However, that was far from the case in his last outing. In the UFC Vegas 38 main event last October, Walker had his chance to break through into the elite of the division against former title challenger Thiago Santos. What was billed as a five-round thriller turned out to be the opposite, and saw the 29-year-old fall on the wrong side of a unanimous decision verdict.
Now set for another main event chance this Saturday thanks to the postponement of Rafael dos Anjos vs. Rafael Fiziev, Walker will be hoping to return to the win column, and to his unique and enthralling approach, against fellow rising contender Hill.
During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Walker suggested sharing the Octagon with a fellow Brazilian last time out may have played a part in his toned-down performance.
With that not being an issue this time around, the Rio de Janeiro native is targeting a return to his “explosive” style on February 19.
“I’ve trained so much. I’m gonna put everything on the edge of my glove this Saturday,” said Walker. “And I’m gonna do my best. I’m gonna be very professional. I’m gonna use all my level, all my experience. I’m gonna be explosive, I’m gonna be unpredictable, I’m gonna use all my weapons, and I’m gonna take my time as well. I’m just gonna be another level.”
Walker Expects An Early Finish
Despite suggesting he’ll be taking his time and not going too crazy inside the Apex on Saturday, Walker did still predict an early finish, especially if Hill decides to throw everything at him from the get-go.
“I have no idea (how many rounds), I don’t ask, I just wanna fight. I don’t care if it’s three, five; I can fight 20 rounds,” claimed Walker. “I don’t need that much (five). If this guy (Hill) wants to come with everything then I will as well, so I’m gonna finish the fight early.”
While Walker certainly presents a unique challenge to anyone when he’s at his best and most bizarre self, Hill told MMA News he’s preparing for everything.
Fresh off a knockout against Jimmy Crute, and having seen his rival be finished by Corey Anderson and heavily rocked by Ryan Spann, “Sweet Dreams” will have plans of his own for a quick night at UFC Vegas 48.
Who do you think will have their hand raised in this weekend’s main event, Johnny Walker or Jamahal Hill?