clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Dana White: Johnny Walker ‘didn’t really wow anybody’ at UFC Charlotte

UFC Fight Night: Smith v Walker Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Johnny Walker secured a win over Anthony Smith in the UFC Charlotte co-main event, but he didn’t score many style points with UFC President Dana White.

Despite a largely dominant performance including two knockdowns, the Brazilian light heavyweight never went for the kill, even when Smith appeared severely compromised.

Walker later said that he didn’t want to go for a quick finish and instead hoped for more time and experience in the cage. That didn’t leave the best impression on White.

“Walker didn’t really wow anybody tonight, but he won,” White said at the UFC Charlotte post-fight press conference. “He was put on the co-main event to kind of shine tonight. He got a ‘W,’ so I guess that’s good.”

White commended Smith’s toughness, which surely played a part in Walker’s decision not to overexert himself. Walker allowed Smith to hang around until the final horn, even after Smith absorbed numerous damaging leg kicks that had him wobbled and standing on shaky ground late.

“Obviously he’s in there with a very durable, tough guy and a dangerous guy in Smith,” White said. “But Smith got dropped, was hurt in the first round, and then his leg was gone, and Johnny never went for the finish. Never tried to finish the fight. Just tried to fight safe and get the win.”

The unanimous decision extended Walker’s winning streak to three, and now he can add a one-time title challenger to his resume.

As for the battle-tested veteran and one-time UFC light heavyweight title challenger, Smith removed his gloves in the cage after the fight ended, which is usually a sign that a fighter is preparing to call it a career.

Ultimately, Smith never laid down his gloves and ultimately left the octagon, so he didn’t make any decisions about his career just yet but even White thought a retirement announcement could be forthcoming.

“I thought he was going to retire, too,” White said. “I think after the fight he had said to some people in the back he wants to think about it.

“He always comes to fight. He got busted up, got hurt and he did what he does. He toughs it out. That looked like it was a couple of leg kicks away from being over. If Johnny Walker would have put the pressure on him, he probably could have got the finish.”

Overall, Smith has dropped two fights in a row with a 3-4 run in his past seven appearances in the octagon.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting