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Johnny Walker ‘happy’ despite UFC Brasilia loss to Nikita Krylov: ‘It’s just the beginning for me’

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Brasilia
Johnny Walker lost a decision to Nikita Krylov in the main card of UFC Brasilia.
Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

BRASILIA, Brazil — Johnny Walker was hoping for a stand-up war with Nikita Krylov at UFC Brasilia on March 14. He ended up outwrestled en route to a decision loss inside an empty arena in Brazil.

He’s not as upset as you could have guessed, though.

“I’m happy – I fought three rounds,” Walked told the media at the UFC host hotel in Brasilia. “It was good for me. Fighting three rounds in the biggest promotion in the world, at UFC level, was great for me. That helped me evolve as an athlete and see where I need to work on.”

UFC Brasilia was Walker’s first fight since joining Tristar Gym and working with coach Firas Zahabi. He wasn’t victorious Saturday night, and he’s now on a two-fight losing skid after a knockout loss to top-ranked light heavyweight Corey Anderson in November. But he will return to Canada for his next training camp.

“Firas has a lot to teach me; I have a lot to learn and evolve with him,” Walker said. “I’ll get back there, train and come back much stronger.

“I’m 27 and got in the UFC a little over a year ago, so it’s just the beginning for me. It’s all experience. It’s all very new for me. I have a lot to learn. I still know nothing. (This fight) taught me a lot, so I’m happy. I gave my best, fought hard, gained experience and will come back stronger next time.”

One of the things Walker admits he has to improve at are his defensive wrestling and cardio.

“He put a lot of pressure, I even defended some takedowns, but I don’t know what happened because I got tired,” Walker said. “I have good cardio. I don’t know what happened...if it was the weather. I don’t want to give excuses, but I got tired. I train a lot. I don’t go out partying, I do the right diet. When I’m in camp and go from home to the gym and back. So it’s about training more.

“Nikita put a lot of pressure on the wrestling, where I need to get better, too, my defense. He didn’t want to trade with me, and I knew that. But two get in and one gets out. I have to be prepared to win or lose. I went there ready for death, I gave my best. I couldn’t do anything anymore, but I was there, fighting. I gave the best I could. Now it’s time to go back tot he gym and train more. I’m happy I fought three rounds. I vomited a lot after the fight, I felt ill. That’s really good, I felt alive.”

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