The hype train has well and truly been derailed for Johnny Walker.
Before UFC 244, many were talking up the 27-year-old Brazilian as the next big thing in the light heavyweight division, and to be fair you couldn’t blame people for doing so.
In his UFC career, Walker had racked up three straight first round victories, and in doing so in his last fight against Misha Cirkunov he dislocated his shoulder doing ‘the worm’ whilst celebrating the win.
Walker’s aura seemed special, and on a big night in New York tonight at UFC 244, his toughest test yet came in the form of Corey Anderson.
Anderson is a UFC veteran, with victories over Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira to his name, and Walker could’ve took a big step up the rankings by defeating the #7-ranked Illinois native.
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But the tables turned entirely on Walker – as he was the one being defeated in round one this time.
Less than two minutes into the fight, Anderson was landing clean shots on Walker whilst in a clinch, with the Brazilian wobbling all over the place.
Walker was unable to land another blow as he was dropped to a knee by Anderson’s right hook to the chin, and the referee stepped in with Walker pretty much out on his feet.
The referee had to work very hard to pull Anderson away from Walker, who just stared at his opponent in-front of him blankly.
With lots of UFC fans and pundits saying that Walker is the heir-apparent to current light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, you could guess that he would have something to say post-fight.
Walker may well come back from this moment a stronger fighter, but for now he will need to take a step back in his mission to become the best of the light heavyweights – and a clash with Jones won’t be coming anytime soon.