Johnny Walker Expected to be out Four Weeks with Shoulder Injury, Eyeing Alexander Gustafsson in Return

Misha Cirkunov and Johnny Walker, UFC 235
Misha Cirkunov and Johnny Walker Credit: Rodney James Edgar/Cageside Press

Johnny Walker will need about four weeks to recover from his victory celebration at UFC 235, wants Alexander Gustafsson when he returns.

At UFC 235 this past weekend in Las Vegas, Johnny Walker returned to the octagon exactly one month after his technical knockout victory over Justin Ledet, where he would stop Canadian standout Misha Cirkunov with a flying knee. Untouched in his fight, it was the post-fight celebration that would cause Walker the most problems, dislocating his shoulder while attempting the ‘worm’.

Per Ariel Helwani of ESPN, “Johnny Walker just got his MRI results back. Per his manager, he has a mild shoulder injury. He’ll need four weeks of rehab.” Walker’s humerus head dislocated from the glenoid cavity, which almost immediately popped back into place, but a dislocation can result in further complications, sometimes the tearing of tendons, muscles, etc. Lucky for him, there wasn’t any significant damage done.

While four weeks doesn’t seem like a long time, with taking no damage against Cirkunov on the preliminaries of UFC 235, the Brazilian native could have made himself available sooner should anyone fall out of the up-and-coming events this month.

Additionally, upon his return, Helwani says Walker and his team are eyeing a potential fight with Alexander Gustafsson in Stockholm.

‘The Mauler’ Gustafsson is coming off of a third-round TKO loss to current 205lbs champion, Jon Jones, who also competed this past weekend at UFC 235. For years now, Gustafsson has been highly ranked in the light heavyweight division, and would pose as a true test for the rising star, Johnny Walker, who seems to be walking through everyone put in front of him, late notice and all. While Walker says he would be ready for the title holder ‘Bones’ Jones, realistically, as of today (March 5th) Walker is ranked #15 in the division, and will have to prove himself at least a couple more times before we see him in title contention. What better way to jump the rankings than call out and take on the #2 guy? With success in getting past Gustafsson, potentially, we could see this young talent at the top in no time.

More recently, Dana White took interest in Thiago Santos getting the next crack at gold. Currently on a four-fight win streak, Santos has knocked out his last three opponents, his latest victim being Jan Błachowicz in late February.

No date or opponent has been confirmed for Walker’s return, but surely everyone can agree he’s a pleasure to watch in the octagon, and a growing fan-favorite every time he competes.

Who do you think Johnny Walker should fight next? Let us know in the comments below!