Johnny Walker started off his UFC career about as hot as he could have hoped for with three highlight-reel knockouts. The 29-year-old striking sensation looked so impressive that many quickly began touting him as a potential threat to then-champion, Jon Jones. Unfortunately, it’s been tough sledding since.
With a 1-4 record in his last five appearances, Walker has suffered knockout defeats in two of those four losses. The most recent coming this past weekend in the main event of UFC Vegas 48 against Jamahal Hill. One perfectly placed punch was all it took to put the Brazilian away just under three minutes into the opening round.
Walker has taken the loss in stride as it isn’t his first rodeo and understands that it’s a part of the sport. However, the most devastating outcome of it all has been the general community reaction.
“For me, it’s okay. Onto the next one, right?” Walker said on his YouTube channel. “But what’s making me really upset is f*cking people don’t care about the fighters’ health and what happens after, you know? They just care about the pictures and make the jokes. What made me upset was people message me and comment the jokes. People don’t care about other people’s health.
“I train so hard, I’m very committed to my career. And when I get to the fight to make my best show for the fans, if I get hurt or something like that happens, people just make jokes about the knockout. They don’t care about my health or if I have brain damage, if I’m okay.”
With an 18-7 record in his career overall, Walker is more often than not the one dishing out the knockouts as he has 15 under his belt. But out of his seven defeats, four have seen him on the receiving end of some of the rougher striking finishes.
After the fight with Hill was stopped, the event went to its usual commercial break and upon return, Walker only then began to sit upright.
“I spent so many hours in the hospital getting checked out,” Walker said. “I’m 100 percent good, the brain scan and everything is okay but they don’t know. They don’t really care about what happens with my health.
“They send messages for my fiance saying so much bullsh*t about me. Things that are disgusting. It’s not everybody but I would like to understand why we have people like this. People even from the media who have my number. They called me before the fight to ask for interviews and everything. Then when I lose, they make big jokes about my losses. This is just very disappointing, you know? You train so hard, I fight for money, to provide good health and support for my family in Brazil. To buy a house for me, I want to marry, I want to have kids, make a business, be sustainable. And they don’t f*cking care about my health.
“I’m trying to do my best to bring them nice entertainment for everybody,” he added. “But they just don’t care about my health and if I’m okay or not.”
It’s a somewhat rare case where the performance itself isn’t what the fighter on the wrong end of the result is most bothered by. Not to say Walker doesn’t wish his hand was raised that night, but he is well aware of what he did leading up to the closing moments and is looking at the positives in a sea of negativity.
“I think I was doing really good in the first round,” Walker said. “I was landing my kicks, I was feeling the distance, I was doing really good against his southpaw [stance]. I was landing the kicks and giving a little trouble to him. He landed some good shots and if you watch the replay, of course, he won so everybody just wants to show one punch that he gave to me. But show everything else that he gave to me. Nothing. He just landed that f*cking punch.
“I step forward, I give my face, I give my body — my distance to him so he lands the shot. In this division, one big punch to the face like that when you go towards the punch, it’s horrible. So I got knocked out.”
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I know it’s the fight business, but let’s be a little nicer to one another, people. We’re all human. Thanks for reading!
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