UFC books Johnny Walker – Jamahal Hill

The UFC has finalized a date for a banger of a light heavyweight matchup. MMA Fighting confirmed that the planned matchup between Johnny Walker (18-6) and Jamahal Hill (9-1, 1 NC) will take place on February 19th at a UFC Fight Night.

Walker will be looking to bounce back after his last fight. Walker had his first UFC main event when he took on former title challenger Thiago Santos. He didn’t have the best night and Santos was able to walk away with a decision victory.

That loss has seen Walker fall to 1-3 in his last four UFC appearances. When Walker first joined the promotion, he got off to a blistering start by winning his first three fights by first round knockout. However, he injured himself during a victory celebration and really hasn’t been the same.

He was stopped by Corey Anderson and has suffered two additional decision losses. In between there was an impressive win over Ryan Spann, however, he hasn’t been able to maintain the steam he had early on in his UFC career. This fight against Hill is massive for him.

UFC’s Rising Prospect

Jamahal Hill earned a UFC contract on Dana White’s Contender Series and has made a big impact on the light heavyweight division. After earning his contract, he started out 2-0, 1 NC. That included a knockout win over OSP.

The OSP knockout win earned him a spot against Paul Craig at UFC 263. Going into that fight, Hill wanted to keep things standing for a reason and that played out in the first round. Craig was able to pull guard and actually dislocated Hill’s arm for the win.

After that loss, Hill was booked against Jimmy Crute at a UFC Fight Night. Hill made a massive statement by knocking out Crute in the first minute of the fight. That win has earned him this shot against Johnny Walker.

If he’s able to get the win against Walker next month, I would expect a big step up for Hill in terms of his UFC competition. Hill looks like he can become a top contender and a win over Johnny Walker will show that he’s getting closer to that level.

What’s next for Thiago Santos after UFC Vegas 38?

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 38, Thiago Santos (22-9) returned to take on Johnny Walker (18-6). Santos entered the bout trying to snap a three-fight losing streak.

Now, the first fight in that losing streak for Santos came against Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title. Santos lost a split decision in a fight where he completely tore his knee apart in the first round.

Since returning, he hasn’t looked like the same fighter. Santos dropped fights to Glover Teixeira and Aleksandar Rakic since returning from injury. This main event against Walker was a good opportunity to reset against a lower ranked opponent.

Now, Walker is very dangerous and he showed that on Saturday night. There were some definite spots where Walker gave Santos some trouble at UFC Vegas 38, but nothing that Santos wasn’t able to get through.

Santos landed some good shots and clean counters throughout the main event. In the end, he walked away with a unanimous decision victory and now he’s finally back on track.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 38?

When Santos heard his name called, it was the first time in two and a half years that he won a fight in the UFC. The last win he had came against the current champion Jan Blachowicz.

With a win under his belt, now it’s time for Santos to try and build back towards a title shot. So, what should the UFC do with him next? I don’t think his performance was impressive enough to get him close to title contention.

He likely will need another win or even two before he gets to that point. In terms of a next fight, I would look at UFC 267 at the end of the month. Magomed Ankalaev (15-1) is taking on Volkan Oezdemir (17-5).

Whoever wins that fight would be a great next step for Santos. A win over one of those two then perhaps you could put him in a title eliminator. However, he’s going to need to impress more in his next outing.

After falling short at UFC Vegas 38, what’s next for Johnny Walker?

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 38, we saw a showdown of top light heavyweights. Former title challenger Thiago Santos (22-9) returned as he took on Johnny Walker (18-6).

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.

UFC Vegas 38 Preview: Thiago Santos – Johnny Walker

Tomorrow night in the main event of UFC Vegas 38, we will see a battle between two of the more exciting light heavyweights in the division. Former title challenger Thiago Santos (21-9) takes on the exciting Johnny Walker (18-5) in the main event.

Johnny Walker earned a UFC contract on The Contender Series then proceeded to open everyone’s eyes after he debuted. Walker started out his UFC career going a perfect 3-0 with three knockouts.

None of those fights went more than two minutes. He rode that momentum into a fight with Corey Anderson. However, after his third win, he dislocated his shoulder in a victory celebration which seemed to derail his success. Walker is just 1-2 since that injury.

Another fighter who hasn’t been the same since injury is Thiago Santos. Santos just challenged Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title back in 2019. He knocked out the current champion Jan Blachowicz to earn that shot against Jones.

However, Santos tore his knee completely apart in that fight. He returned last year and he’s gone 0-2 since returning from injury. He’s going to have to prove to everyone that he’s still the same guy he was before the knee injury at UFC Vegas 38.

UFC Vegas 38 Prediction

I’m really struggling with this prediction ahead of tomorrow night. To be completely honest, I’m not sure what to expect from either guy. At one point, these two looked like two of the more dangerous light heavyweights in the division.

However, neither has looked great since returning from injury. Santos doesn’t even remotely look like the same guy. His movement in his last two UFC bouts has looked really shaky and he just doesn’t seem as confident.

Walker on the other hand has a chin that terrifies me. That said, I do like the way he’s able to move and I really like his reach advantage in this one. I’ve gone back and forth and I don’t know how, but I think Johnny Walker is going to pick up the victory tomorrow night. Something tells me he’s going to be able to land more than a flat-footed Santos.

Prediction: Johnny Walker by Decision

UFC booking Thiago Santos – Johnny Walker

The UFC is in the process of finalizing a fun light heavyweight matchup between top ten contenders. Combate was the first to report that the promotion was close to finalizing a matchup between Thiago Santos (21-9) and Johnny Walker (18-5).

The matchup will take place at a UFC Fight Night on September 25th. This is a massive opportunity for Johnny Walker who is currently ranked tenth in the division. Walker was supposed to fight Jimmy Crute back in March.

However, Walker had to pull out of the fight and Crute went on to fight Anthony Smith. I figured the UFC would give Walker someone like Crute upon his return, but that’s not what’s happening. Walker is getting a shot at a former title challenger and top five contender.

In March of 2019, Johnny Walker knocked out Misha Cirkunov in seconds. That knockout had him 3-0 in the UFC with three quick first round knockouts. The promotion moved Walker up the ladder fast and had him face Corey Anderson at UFC 244.

Walker had hurt his shoulder celebrating the Cirkunov win and this was his return fight. Anderson knocked him out in the first round. Then, Walker lost to Nikita Krylov by decision. Walker did get a win over Ryan Spann in September which got him back on track.

This matchup on September 25th is huge for Walker. If he can pick up an impressive victory over Santos, he might only be a win or two away from a UFC title shot.

UFC crossroads for Marreta

It seems just like yesterday that Thiago “Marreta” Santos was challenging Jon Jones at UFC 239. Santos destroyed his knee in the opening rounds, but still fought the all time great to a split decision.

Santos returned after a lengthy layoff to fight Glover Teixeira last fall. He had his moments in the fight, but Santos ultimately gassed out and was submitted by Glover Teixeira.

At UFC 259, Santos fought Aleksandar Rakic and seemed extremely gun shy. He lost a decision and now he’s lost three in a row. Fighting Johnny Walker is a step back for Marreta, but it’s a needed one. This is a big fight for both of these men but in very different ways. It should be a fantastic matchup with so much on the line.

After setback at UFC 261, what’s next for Jimmy Crute?

Jimmy Crute (12-2) had a massive opportunity at UFC 261. He had the opportunity to fight a top six opponent and former title challenger, Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (35-16).

Going into UFC 261, this fight was being looked at as a stepping stone for Crute. Many in the media including myself are extremely high on Jimmy Crute and his talent.

A win over someone like Lionheart Smith would put Crute only a win or two away from a UFC title shot. That said, it wasn’t going to be an easy fight and there’s plenty of fight left in Anthony Smith.

When the fight started on Saturday, Crute was really working his leg kicks. He couldn’t get much going up top because of Smith’s piston-like jab that kept popping his head back throughout the first round.

However, Crute was doing some damage to the legs of Smith at UFC 261. You could tell that if Crute just landed a few more kicks to the right spot, Anthony Smith was going to be in a lot of trouble.

Just before the end of the round, Smith landed the perfect leg kick on Jimmy Crute which really injured his knee. Crute struggled to finish the round and the doctor called a stop to the action in between rounds. A disappointing end at UFC 261 for the Australian.

What’s next after UFC 261?

While UFC 261 didn’t go as planned, I wouldn’t say that it’s a major setback. Crute took a big step up in competition and he came up short. That doesn’t take away from his talent or what I think is in store for his future.

I believe that Jimmy Crute will be a serious contender for the UFC title one day. However, Saturday night showed that it’s not quite time just yet. So, what does the UFC do with Crute now?

Well, the first thing is his health. Once it’s determined how long he has to be out, then the promotion can start thinking about an opponent. An opponent I really like is Crute’s original opponent, Johnny Walker (18-5).

Walker and Crute were supposed to fight before Walker got injured. Anthony Smith then jumped in to fight Crute at UFC 261. These two young contenders will still put on an excellent fight and it’s a fight that makes a ton of sense.

UFC: Anthony Smith steps in for Johnny Walker and will fight Jimmy Crute

Anthony Smith

It didn’t take long for the UFC to find a new opponent for Jimmy Crute (12-1). Earlier today, we found out that Johnny Walker (18-5) had torn his pectoral muscle and as a result, was out of his UFC 260 bout with Crute. 

Crute posted on his Instagram last night that someone had already agreed to replace Walker. However, the name hadn’t been released yet. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto broke the news that it will be Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (34-16) who will be stepping in for Walker.

The fight between the two men has been pushed back from it’s original date at UFC 260. Smith and Crute will fight on a UFC Fight Night that is currently scheduled on April 24th. No word on if this fight will be a main event or not at this point.

With Walker getting injured, Jimmy Crute actually lucked out. He’s getting a higher ranked opponent and he’s fighting someone who has challenged for the UFC‘s light heavyweight championship in addition to taking on some of the division’s best.

This fight is really going to tell us a lot about where Jimmy Crute is. Crute suffered his first loss in 2019 against Misha Cirkunov, but has since bounced back and scored two first round finishes in 2020.

Big UFC Light Heavyweight Matchup

Lionheart has had a very up and down couple of years in the UFC. Back in 2019, Smith got his shot against Jon Jones for the light heavyweight championship. Smith had won three fights in a row prior including defeating two former light heavyweight champions.

Lionheart lost to Jones by decision. He bounced back extremely well by submitting Alexander Gustafsson. However, that is where the UFC career of Smith hit a wall. Smith was dominated by both Glover Teixeira and Aleksandar Rakic in back-to-back fights in 2020.

After the two lopsided losses, the UFC gave Smith, Devin Clark. Clark was unranked, but had shown a lot of promise. Smith was able to bounce back and submit Clark in the first round and in doing so, he seemed to get his confidence back.

Now, Smith will take on one of the most dangerous and hungry contenders in light heavyweight division. This fight is going to be massive for the light heavyweight division and whoever wins should be looking to the top five for their next fight.

Johnny Walker out of UFC 260 bout with Jimmy Crute

A fun light heavyweight matchup scheduled for UFC 260 has been called off. MMA Fighting confirmed this morning that Johnny Walker (18-5) is out of his upcoming matchup with Jimmy Crute (12-1).

Crute posted on Instagram last night that his opponent (Walker) was ducking him again. However, Walker’s team told MMA Fighting today that Walker tore his pectoral muscle and the injury requires immediate surgery.

The rough timetable for this injury is about six months of recovery. This was expected to be a barnburner between the two top fifteen UFC light heavyweights. Johnny Walker was looking to pickup his second straight win.

A couple of years ago, Walker was one of the hottest prospects in the UFC. He was destroying anyone the promotion put in front of him and he was doing it quickly. However, he then ran into Corey Anderson.

Anderson is one of the best light heavyweights in the world and he was able to stop Walker in the first round. From there, Walker dropped a decision to Nikita Krylov before bouncing back to knock out Ryan Spann. This is just another setback for the UFC‘s Walker.

What’s the UFC’s Plan?

Jimmy Crute is still going to be competing at UFC 260. According to Crute’s original post on Instagram, the promotion has already found him an opponent who has accepted the fight. Apparently, Crute likes this matchup a lot more.

Crute wrote on his Instagram, “I can’t express how excited and grateful I am that a true fighter has decided to step in and fight me. This is a better fight , better name and bigger challenge but I’m ready for it.”

As of now, there is no word on who this mystery opponent is for UFC 260. Although, given the excitement of Crute, you have to imagine it’s someone ranked in the top ten. A name I’d watch out for is Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (34-16).

UFC books Johnny Walker – Jimmy Crute

We have our first UFC match making news of 2021. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was first to report this afternoon that the promotion is finalizing a banger of a matchup at light heavyweight between Johnny Walker (18-5) and Jimmy Crute (12-1).

The fight is expected to take place on March 27th. Both of these light heavyweight fighters rank inside the top 12 of the UFC‘s rankings at 205. Both are also two of the more exciting young contenders at light heavyweight.

Johnny Walker will try to make it two in a row when he makes the walk on March 27th. Walker was being looked at as one of the best prospects in the UFC in 2019. The Brazilian stormed onto the UFC scene in 2018.

After being awarded a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series, Walker made his UFC debut against Khalil Rountree. Walker knocked out Rountree in under two minutes. His next two fights both ended in under a minute.

The UFC moved him up to face Corey Anderson at UFC 244. Walker was the favorite, however, he ended up getting finished in the first round. He then lost a second straight fight to Nikita Krylov back in March. He did bounce back to knockout Ryan Spann in September.

Big UFC matchup at Light Heavyweight

Standing across from Walker will be The Brute, Jimmy Crute. Crute had a great 2020 where he won two fights by first round stoppage. One by submission then one by knockout back in October.

Crute is being looked at as one of the best prospects in the UFC. The Australian light heavyweight contender is just 24 years old. However, he has tremendous skills on the ground and on the feet as he showed in 2020.

This fight will be a big test for Crute. He’s in a very good position because if he doesn’t win, it won’t set him back a ton. However, if he’s able to beat Johnny Walker, he will be vaulted into the top ten with another big fight ahead of him.

This is a very big fight for the UFC’s light heavyweight division. With Jon Jones out of the picture and Israel Adesanya moving up to challenge Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259, the division is entering a new day. Undoubtedly, both of these men are big prospects for the future of 205.

What’s next for Anthony Smith after UFC Vegas 15?

Anthony Smith

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 15, Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (34-16) took on Devin Clark (12-5) in the main event. Originally the two were supposed to be in the co-main, but the original main event was scrapped due to a positive COVID test. 

The two also agreed to change the fight from three rounds to five rounds. However, the UFC Vegas 15 main event would not require more than a couple of minutes of the first round.

Devin Clark came out fast and hit Smith with a right hand. After that, he tried to initiate the takedown and use his wrestling. However, Smith did a very good job of reversing the position and landing a takedown of his own.

Once on the ground, Smith tried to get the back of Clark. Clark did a good job of defending and actually reversed the position to get on top. However, once there, Smith was able to lock up a triangle choke off of his back.

Clark tried to fight it off, but Smith locked it in very tight forcing the tap. A massive win for Smith who had entered UFC Vegas 15 on a two-fight losing streak. Both fights he looked completely checked out, but he looked fantastic on Saturday.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 15?

It really can’t be expressed how big UFC Vegas 15 was for Anthony Smith. Lionheart is a former title challenger, but a loss would have been devastating for his career. After his last loss, people were suggesting a potential move back to middleweight.

However, Smith looked better than ever locking up the quick win on Saturday. So what should the UFC do with Smith after his big win? Well there are a couple of options, but a fight I really like is Smith and Johnny Walker (18-5).

Walker is coming off of a pretty impressive knockout victory over Ryan Spann back in September. He’s currently ranked ninth in the UFC‘s light heavyweight rankings and could use a bump up in competition.

After defeating a non-ranked opponent, I think it would also be good for Smith to fight someone in the top ten in his next outing. Time will tell what the promotion does, but that would be my suggestion.