Walker was competing in his first UFC main event on Saturday. Santos was looking to snap his two-fight losing streak and get back on track. He hadn’t looked like the same fighter since he returned from his serious knee injury a year ago.
I really didn’t know what to expect from either man heading into UFC Vegas 38. Walker was always a wild man and Santos has been very tentative as of late. With the difference in activity level, I was leaning towards Walker.
To my surprise, Santos looked really good on Saturday. He did a good job with beating Walker to the punch and he landed some really clean shots throughout the fight. Walker also held his own and did a good job of landing on Santos.
The fact lacked the action I was expecting at UFC Vegas 38. I think that most expected a wild fight that would end in a finish, but that’s not what we got. In the end, Santos walked away with a decision after taking three of the five rounds.
What’s next for Johnny Walker after UFC Vegas 38?
Even in a loss, I think we can take a lot away from Walker’s performance at UFC Vegas 38. To me, this was the first time that he fought with poise and had a mature look to his fighting style. That said, he didn’t land enough or have big enough spots to get the win.
However, I don’t think he’s going to be hurt too much by this loss. With that, what should the UFC do with him next? There are several options out there, but one of the options I like is a fight with Paul Craig (15-4-1).
Craig ranks just behind Walker in the rankings currently and he’s riding a current streak that has him 4-0-1 in his last five. To me, this is a really good matchup to see who’s ready for a more serious contender inside the UFC’s top ten. A good measuring fight for both men in my opinion.