UFC light heavyweight bruiser Johnny Walker got back into the win column by submitting Ion Cutelaba in the first round of their UFC 279 pay-per-view (PPV) fight, a victory that earned the Brazilian a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus, along with a one-way ticket to the streets of “Sin City.”
Walker and his coach John Kavanagh — perhaps best known for leading former “champ champ” Conor McGregor to the promised land — were summarily expelled from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas before Walker had time to take off his gloves and put on his shoes.
Perhaps the promotion ran out of cheap seats.
“So UFC just came and kicked us out,” Kavanagh wrote on Twitter. “No tickets for us and not allowed stay backstage to watch. Pulled out [the] back door, kicked out, not even shoes on. Here we are back at the hotel and Johnny still has his gloves on, he didn’t get a chance to get changed!”
So what the heck happened?
“I guess ever since COVID, they started this thing where they get the fighters right out of here,” UFC President Dana White told the media during the UFC 279 post-fight press conference. “I don’t know why that happened or what happened. I mean, we are not throwing Johnny Walker out of the arena shoeless, I’m sure.”
Reporters were quick to share Kavanagh’s tweets.
“We fucking threw him right on the streets, huh? It’s rough around here,” White responded.
Walker, 30, improved to 19-7 with the submission win. The Brazilian is currently ranked No. 13 at 205 pounds but is unlikely to gain any ground with his UFC 279 victory since Cutelaba remains unranked in the division.
“Great win and bonus Saturday night,” Kavanagh said. “Following day sun still rises. Those who matter still do, those who don’t still don’t. Win or lose process is the same. Get back in the gym, improve and get ready for the next. Don’t celebrate victories or commiserate losses too hard. Just go.”