Johnny Walker is being lined up for a fight with Nikita Krylov at March’s UFC Brasilia Fight Night event.
After suffering the first setback of his UFC tenure at UFC 244 last month, Johnny Walker’s next assignment is in the works. And it will see him matched up with a fighter who was, like Walker himself, once the “next big thing” at light heavyweight. On Wednesday, ESPN’s Ariel Helwani was first to report that Walker is expected to take on Nikita Krylov at UFC Brasilia.
While the match-up is not finalized, the pairing makes all the sense in the world for the light heavyweight. Prior to being finished via TKO at the hands of Corey Anderson at UFC 244, Walker (17-4) was tearing up the 205lb weight class, with three straight octagon wins — not to mention a successful showing on the Contender Series, and a nine-fight win streak overall.
The Anderson loss, if Walker should bounce back immediately, may not be the end of the world in terms of killing his hype. But Walker will be going up against a tough foe in Krylov, who was once in a similar position to the Brazilian himself.
Krylov (25-7), in his first run with the UFC, found himself on a five-fight win streak from 2014 to 2016. However, he ran up against Misha Cirkunov, and saw his streak come to an end. From there, Krylov would exit the UFC to fight closer to home for Fight Nights Global. He continued to compete in Russia and the Ukraine until 2018, when he returned to the UFC in the wake of FNG owner Ziyavudin Magomedov‘s arrest in Russia on embezzlement charges.
UFC Brasilia, a Fight Night event, takes place March 14 at Ginasio Nilson Nelson in Brasilia, Brazil. The card is expected to stream live on ESPN+.