UFC 235’s Johnny Walker has consistently said he’s not ready for a title shot, and is willing to take his time getting there. It’s not because he feels he’s not ready for Jon Jones, however.
Las Vegas, NV — Johnny Walker is one of the best stories in the UFC at the moment. The Brazilian with the near-permanent smile has had three fights, three wins, and three Performance of the Night bonuses. In three fights, he has barely gone past three minutes of cage time. In fact, he took more damage celebrating at UFC 235 (dislocating his shoulder doing The Worm) than he did in the fight.
The good news is, Walker was feeling better backstage on Saturday. “It’s okay. It’s gone back to the right place,” he said of his dislocated shoulder.
And while Dana White would say later that night that he hoped Walker would drop the celebration, the Brazilian actually suggested he needed to work on it. “No I have to train more because I don’t train the celebration,” he said. “Everything I train, I do well. I train my flying knee, I train my punch. But I don’t train my celebration and it happened like this.”
Heading into UFC 235, Walker told Cageside Press that he was in no rush to get to a title shot. He reiterated that when we spoke to him again during Saturday’s media scrum following his bout. “I’m ok [with not rushing to title]. I need to test myself. I need more fights, I need to fight three rounds. I need to check my ground game, my jiu-jitsu, my wrestling. I need more fights, more experience.”
“I still want to [fight next month],” he added. “Of course, I can fight with just one hand.” We think he’s joking. Probably.
He’s certainly eager to get back in, however. In part because he’d expected a longer fight Saturday. “I wanted to fight three rounds,” he said, “but finishing in the first is okay. I saw where he tried to land the punch and when he wanted to go for my legs so I just went for the knee.”
Walker also deemed the experience of fighting in Las Vegas “okay,” but added “I don’t go out too much because I have to cut my weight, train, diet. I only stayed in my room and trained, I didn’t see too many things. Today and tomorrow, I will go enjoy a little bit.”
“I want to go to the Cirque du Soleil. I’ve never been.”
As for who will be next, the light heavyweight said “Just give me the names, send me the location. I’ll be there.”
While Walker his holding off on title talk for now, it’s not because he feels he’s not ready for the champ. He just wants to do things right. “I’m ready [for Jon Jones], but when I get more experience, I’ll be more sure that I’ll get the belt,” he explained. “When I fight against him with more experience then I’m sure I can beat him. For now, I need to take my time, rest, train more, take other fights, maybe three or four more, then I’ll be ready.”