A very different Johnny Walker was seen inside the octagon at UFC Vegas 11. More reserved, before, and after, the fight.
Not during, however. A wild brawl with Ryan Spann was everything we have come to expect from Walker (18-5). Both men were hurt in the fight. Walker proved he could respond better under pressure, at least for one night. The end result, a TKO win in a thrilling battle, for as long as it lasted.
It was a much needed win, as the once highly touted light heavyweight prospect had lost two straight.
Speaking back stage following the event, Walker told reporters that “I see my two losses like part of the process. It had to happen.”
“I don’t have too much experience,” he noted. “It’s crazy. Just six years professional. Two years UFC. But most of the time, I was coming back from my injuries.” Actual career time, as a result, was even shorter.
If there was a downside to Saturday’s fight against Spann, for Walker, besides how wild and undisciplined things got, there were also complaints about blows to the back of the head. At least from Spann’s corner.
“I tried to be professional , I tried to hit the right place, on the side of the head.” Making the judgement, however, “is not my job,” Walker added. “My job is to fight. I don’t like to land illegal blows, I’m trying to do the right thing.”
Ultimately, while Spann’s team was upset, Walker doesn’t believe he committed any fouls.
The noticeably different Walker on Saturday was epitomized by the lack of theatrics walking out. And the lack of a celebration after the win. “I want to try to find the perfect balance,” Walker stated.
He also wants to stay busy. “I want to fight as soon as possible. Maybe two more fights this year.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 11 post-fight press conference with Johnny Walker above.