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Johnny Walker vs. Paul Craig light heavyweight scrap set for UFC 283 in Brazil

Two of the most unique characters in the 205-pound division will clash in UFC’s return to Brazil on Jan. 23, 2023.

UFC 279: Diaz v Ferguson Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

Light Heavyweight Johnny Walker will fight on UFC’s big return to Brazil at UFC 283 on Jan. 23, 2023. According to Ag Fight, the charismatic and unconventional fighter will face off against Scottish submission specialist, Paul Craig, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Walker arrived in UFC with a lot of hype via Dana White’s Brazilian Contender Series, and won his first three fights via spectacular finishes. A freak shoulder injury suffered doing the worm dance (yes, for real) threw off Johnny’s winning mojo, and he went on a 1-4 skid.

Most recently, Walker claimed that he’d been unknowingly poisoning himself with the medicinal cannabinoid CBD, which he said was making him “schizophrenic.” Now off the devil’s lettuce, he got back to his winning ways with a submission victory over Ion Cutelaba at UFC 279 in Sept. 2022.

Craig, meanwhile, started his UFC career on pretty unsteady legs, going 3-4 with several nasty knockout losses. Things have really turned around for him, though, and he recently had a 5-0-1 run broken with a decision loss to Volkan Oezdemir in July 2022.

Craig will be going into the belly of the beast against Brazil’s Walker. UFC hasn’t held an event in Brazil since the COVID-19 pandemic kicked off in March 2020, so the crowd energy inside Jeunesse Arena is definitely going to be strongly against him.

Also on the UFC 283 card: the highly anticipated fourth fight between Flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo and interim champion, Brandon Moreno. The two 125-pound warriors are 1-1-1 over their trilogy, leading to a very rare UFC quadrilogy.

A Light Heavyweight title rematch between Jiri Prochazka and Glover Teixeira originally penciled in for UFC 283 will no longer be taking place in Rio de Janeiro. Instead, it will go down at UFC 282 for UFC’s big year-end pay-per-view (PPV) on Dec. 10, 2023.

Expect many more Brazilian fighters to be added to UFC 283 to make up for the loss, and to satiate the overwhelming desire from Brazilian fighters to finally compete at home in front of a local crowd for the first time in years.

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