Corey Anderson wanted a fight with budding rival Jon Jones, but it’s looking like he’ll get rising star Johnny Walker instead.
According to a report from ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the UFC is in the process of finalizing an Anderson vs. Walker bout for November’s UFC 244 from New York:
UFC is finalizing Corey Anderson (@CoreyA_MMA) vs. Johnny Walker (@Johnnywalkermma) for UFC 244 on Nov. 2 in NY, per sources. No secret these two were agreeable to the fight, and I’m told Walker has received medical clearance. Big fight at 205.
Anderson was trying his best to secure a title fight against ‘Bones’ by calling out his highly public drug use and outside-the-cage trouble. But last week Anderson teased a bout with Walker at UFC 244 online. He wrote the following about the potential match on Twitter:
“Wanted to dethrone the “King”, they want me to derail a train, #JohnnyWalker thinks he’s ready for the big leagues, time to roll out the red carpet. You want the sauce?! Meet me in the land of opportunity, NYC, MSG, Nov 2nd. #ufc #msg”
Walker responded later that day, agreeing to meet Anderson at Madison Square Garden:
“Let’s dance together, and have a little fun, LHW needs a new king.”
“Overtime” Anderson is on a three-fight win streak. He last defeated Ilir Latifi back at December’s UFC 232. His other two wins were over Glover Teixeira and Patrick Cummins. Each of the victories came by unanimous decision.
On the other hand, Walker has been carving a path of destruction through 205 pounds, albeit not against quite the same level of competition. He last destroyed Misha Cirkunov in only 36 seconds at UFC 235 in March. He has three first-round knockouts in three UFC fights. Walker has won three post-fight bonuses in his UFC fights.
He injured his shoulder celebrating his win over Cirkunov but has since been medically cleared.
Anderson is ranked No. 8 while Walker is No. 12. but the winner of this fight should have somewhat of an inside track towards a title shot against Jones. ‘Bones’ wants to fight at UFC 244 as well, yet it’s unknown who his opponent will be.