Daniel Cormier served as an inspiration for Johnny Walker’s professional aspirations.
At UFC 283, Walker gave the light heavyweight division notice by eliminating Paul Craig by first-round TKO. After claiming his second consecutive victory, the Brazilian feels like he’s beginning to fit the pieces of the puzzle together. The 30-year-old discussed Cormier during his post-fight press conference while revealing his long-term objectives:
Daniel Cormier is a two-belt champion. Let’s go. That was also my goal, and this man achieved it. One day, I hope to be at his level. I want to be there, so I want to wrestle well and get better at everything. I intend to be prepared to act like he did. I realise it’s a significant task… He is a really strong motivator, and I want to follow in his footsteps.
Walker’s ambitions to win two divisional championships may seem a little unrealistic to some MMA fans. That said, since joining the UFC in 2018, he has displayed flashes of greatness. The native of Rio de Janeiro has won all six of his UFC fights by first-round finishes.
Johnny Walker says UFC 283 win showed he’s continuing to evolve
It was always possible for Johnny Walker to become a top contender in the light heavyweight division. The Brazilian may have even been in a battle for his job at one point. He kept getting better, and he now appears to be a real contender in the 205-pound weight class. Following his most recent victory over Paul Craig, Walker said the following in the UFC 283 post-fight press conference:
“I finished a guy in the top 10 in the first round. This guy had already engaged in a three-round battle with Ankalaev and had already defeated Hill in the opening round before I took him out. It demonstrates that I’m improving and that I’m still evolving. I always fight a superior opponent each time.
Walker’s highlight reel is certainly entertaining, but his credibility was called into question after he twice lost consecutive UFC fights. Craig was defeated by the 30-year-old with nasty hammer punches at UFC 283, demonstrating that he merits respect. He now intends to capitalise on this momentum to move up the light heavyweight rankings in 2023.