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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Johnny Walker after brutal knockout loss at UFC Vegas 48?

UFC Fight Night: Walker v Hill Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

UFC Vegas 48 went down this past weekend (Sat., Feb. 19, 2022) inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, leaving plenty of fighters feeling the post-fight blues. Among them was Jamie Pickett, who was submitted by Kyle Daukaus with only one second remaining in the first round (see it again here).

And Nikolas Motta, who was knocked out by long-time veteran of the Octagon, Jim Miller, in the very first round of their lightweight affair (highlights). But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show?

Johnny Walker.

Coming into his headlining bout against Jamahal Hill, Walker was looking to bounce back from his unanimous decision loss to follow countryman, Thiago Santos, in Oct. 2021. In doing so, the towering big man was attempting to avoid the second two-fight losing streak of his career.

Instead, the man who many once considered a legitimate 205-pound title contender, was sent home packing in the very first round. “Sweet Dreams” tagged the Brazilian bomber with a devastating right hand that landed flush on the temple. What ensued was a sight not seen very often as Walker froze for a brief second before falling straight back. If not for the quick reactions of the referee, Walker would've eaten some unnecessary blows.

With the loss, Walker moves to a putrid 1-4 over his last five fights inside the eight-walled cage after starting his UFC career with three straight first-round knockout wins. After his defeat, Walker drowned his sorrows with some pizza and Proper No. 12, vowing to return stronger than ever.

“What’s up guys, I am okay, just a little cut. I sleep in the fight, something went wrong. Here with some pizza, let’s eat and be happy. I’m fine, let’s move on to the next one,” he said on Instagram. “Thank you all for the support, I love you, this and the sport, one wins the other loses, but I never give up.”

A once-rising star is starting to fade fast. While Walker is currently ranked No. 10, you can expect him to lose that spot later this week. It’s hard to pinpoint where things went wrong for him. He’s training at SBG now, so he’s made some moves over the years to raise his fight I.Q., and it’s not like he doesn’t have a quality training camp.

For now, all he can do is regroup and go back to the drawing board because his road back will be a steep one. Especially since there are several 205 pounders on the rise like Hill who are ready to invade the Top 10.

As for who Walker should face in his comeback fight, a contest against Jimmy Crute makes sense. Crute’s last fight also saw him come up on the wrong end of a knockout defeat to Hill back in Dec. 2021, and is also riding a two-fight losing streak. With both men needing a victory in a bad way, it could make for an intriguing chess match to see who can avoid losing three in a row — and who gets a new lease on his combat sports life.


For complete UFC Vegas 48 results and coverage click here.

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