After underwhelming win at UFC Charlotte, what’s next for Johnny Walker?

In the co-main event of UFC Charlotte this past Saturday, we saw a pivotal matchup in the light heavyweight division. Former title challenger Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (36-18) was looking for a bounce back performance as he took on surging contender Johnny Walker (21-7).

Johnny Walker lit the UFC on fire when he first debuted with the promotion. Three straight first round finishes had him looking like a legit threat. Combining his size with unbelievable power, and Walker looked like a divisional nightmare.

However, a 1-4 stretch on the heels of a bad shoulder injury made people believe he was just a flash in the pan. That said, starting last September, he started turning things around. He would stop Ion Cutelaba and Paul Craig in the first round of their fights.

Following those, he was given this shot against former UFC title challenger Anthony Smith. This was a big step up for Walker. Walker was able to hurt Smith throughout the fight especially to the legs. However, he never got going downhill to the point of really looking to finish Smith.

Walker’s performance was criticized by Dana White in the post-fight press conference. Walker would go on to win the decision, but it’s not a win that has many asking for him to fight for the title.

Who is next after UFC Charlotte?

With this win, Walker has three straight victories and is likely going to be in or right around the top five when the new UFC rankings come out tomorrow. My guess is that Walker will be in a spot to fight for a title shot in his next bout. So, who should he fight?

Well, I think that the perfect opponent for him is former middleweight champ Alex Pereira. Pereira posted a congratulatory message on Twitter after Walker won the bout on Saturday. Walker had previously said that he would like to welcome Pereira to the light heavyweight division.

Personally, I love the fight. For Pereira, it’s the type of opponent that would perfectly set him up for a shot at the UFC light heavyweight title and for Walker, it would legitimize him as the number one contender. Whoever wins would have a firm grasp of the next title shot after Jiri Prochazka.

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