Johnny Walker is regarded by many as one of the most athletically gifted fighters in the UFC light heavyweight division. However, even an athlete as talented as Walker isn’t immune to injuries.
After a spectacular first-round TKO victory over Misha Cirkunov at UFC 235 on March 2nd, 2019, Johnny Walker tried to perform the ‘worm’ dance as a part of his post-fight celebration. Unfortunately, Walker landed awkwardly on the mat inside the octagon and dislocated his shoulder.
You can watch how Walker hurt his shoulder in the video below:
Johnny Walker beat Henrique da Silva via unanimous decision on Dana White’s Contender Series Brazil 2 in August 2018. Walker then made his UFC main-roster debut against Khalil Rountree. The Brazilian MMA stalwart dominantly bested Rountree via first-round KO at UFC Fight Night: Magny vs. Ponzinibbio in November 2018.
Following that, Johnny Walker secured yet another impressive victory, beating Justin Ledet via first-round TKO at UFC Fight Night: Assuncao vs. Moraes 2 in February 2019. The win earned Walker a shot at Misha Cirkunov, whom he went on to fight at UFC 235.
Walker put on one of the best performances of his career in this matchup. He displayed incredibly innovative striking skills, and finished Cirkunov in style. Walker downed his foe, scoring a first-round TKO win courtesy of a flying knee and punches.
As already mentioned above, Walker chose to celebrate his win over Misha Cirkunov by performing the worm dance, but ended up injuring his shoulder.
Johnny Walker’s first UFC loss and his MMA future
Johnny Walker’s impressive run in the UFC came to an abrupt halt after his win over Misha Cirkunov. Walker’s next fight was against then-UFC light heavyweight contender and current Bellator MMA fighter Corey Anderson.
Their high-stakes clash at UFC 244 in November 2019 witnessed Johnny Walker lose via first-round TKO. That marked Walker’s first UFC loss. Following that, Walker lost his next UFC fight as well, dropping a unanimous decision to Nikita Krylov at UFC Fight Night: Lee vs. Oliveira in March 2020.
Nevertheless, Johnny Walker returned to winning ways by defeating Ryan Spann via first-round KO at UFC Fight Night: Covington vs. Woodley in September 2020.
A win over the No. 5-ranked Santos would help Walker enter the upper echelons of the UFC light heavyweight division.