UFC light heavyweight Johnny Walker came into the UFC and took off like a rocket….only to find that there would be some obstacles to overcome.
Walker (18-7) took out three straight opponent via knockout, but then losing 4 of his next five including knockout losses to Corey Anderson and Jamahal Hill respectively.
Now the Brazilian fighter returns with a new mindset when it comes to training, nutrition, and mental health.
He sat down with Cageside Press to talk about it all just a couple weeks before his fight at UFC 279 against Ion Cutelaba.
Walker has moved around gyms a bit, but has now settled in with SBG in Dublin, Ireland.
“I’ve been here for like three years already. I did my first camp training against Ryan Spann. Then another camp training against Thiago Santos there and Jamahal,” Walker said.
Walker was supposed to face Jimmy Crute, but had to have shoulder surgery effectively canceling the bout.
The move to SBG has proven to be a positive one for Walker as he feels like he finally found a gym that takes his training seriously.
“Was really good camp training. They have really good coach. I did amazing camp training, but I did a mistake when I went to Brazil. My fight was in Brazil (for Nikita Krylov). It was the firs fight without crowds on lockdown,” said Walker.
“On fight week when I got there I still trained twice a day cutting weight on diet.”
Walker detailed the constant overtraining due to the weight cut and poor diet habits that he had leading up to fights. At the time he was with Tristar Gym out of Montreal, Canada.
“I f*cked up my camp training that I did in Tristar. I fought overtrained against Nikita Krylov. He’s a good fighter, but if I wasn’t overtraining I could beat him up, you know? We fought three rounds and he didn’t hurt me. He didn’t put me in bad situations. If I didn’t get overtraining I 100% could win that fight. Probably going to meet him again soon,” he said.
Walker now meet Ion Cutelaba at UFC 279 in Las Vegas on Sept.10th.
“I accepted straight away I never deny no fight. I like the matchup because he’s very wild, very strong. Sometimes he (falls into) bad positions because he wants to punch too hard. You have to respect his power. I did a lot of drills and technique. I watched his fights so much so I really like to fight him,” Walker said.
Walker said he worked his technique and boxing defense a lot in camp which will come very handy against a power puncher like Cutelaba.
Cutelaba is also a sambo and judo specialist which is something Walker feels he’s prepared for.
“I’ve been doing a lot of wrestling all of my career. I always (was) a striker, but I have good jiu jitsu. I always work my takedown defense. I’ve been improving so much my wrestling that now I can really take people down, but I just don’t because I feel more comfortable on my stand up game,” he said.
“But if he wasn’t to play wrestling we can wrestle.”
Prediction for the fight?
“I’m going to knock him out. I’m going to put him to sleep, and I’m going to sing the night night song for him.”
Watch the entire interview with Johnny Walker above. Walker takes on Ion Cutelaba on the main card of UFC 279 on Sept.10th at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.