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In lead up to UFC 244, light heavyweight prospect Johnny Walker wanted to prove to the world that he wasn’t all flashy moves and quick finishes. He vowed to beat Corey Anderson comfortably over their three-round fight in New York. However, it didn’t pan out like the 27-year-old had predicted, as he was hurt early by Anderson, who knocked him down in the opening round before finishing him off.
It had been rumored that a convincing win over Anderson would have given Walker a title shot against the division’s kingpin in Jon Jones, although after his performance on Saturday night there seems to be more questions than answers regarding the Brazilian’s ability to compete with the elite at 205 pounds.
Walker talked to MMAFighting.com after his humbling defeat to the hands of Anderson and said he made the error of waiting for his opponent to make a move instead of fighting him on instinct.
“I know it was my mistake,” Walker told MMA Fighting. “I hesitated too much. I should have been more aggressive, but I didn’t. I had too many people talking about his takedowns, so I waited for him to shoot, and I didn’t let my game go. It was the wrong strategy. I should have listened to myself. I listened to everyone else but me. That was my mistake. I regret that.
“I should have gone for the knockout right away like I always do, but I ended up changing my game and everything went wrong. But it’s alright: I’m ready for the next one.”
Walker is positive about going forward and wants to get on the saddle as quick as possible and is already eyeing off the winner of Mauricio Rua vs. Paul Craig, which takes place on Nov. 16 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
“I’ll be there (at UFC Sao Paulo) to watch it as a guest fighter,” Walker said. “I know that two more wins will get me back to where I was, so I’m not too off the rails. I’ll be back soon. It was a learning experience. I won’t ever hesitate in a fight again, brother. Never.”