Jon Jones is one of the greatest fighters in MMA history, but Johnny Walker has been destroying opponents at a scary rate and looks like one of the UFC’s next great fighters
Jon Jones managed to overcome Thiago Santos at UFC 239, but it was far closer than many fans expected it to be.
While Bones is certainly in the conversation for the greatest of all-time, his checkered past frequently haunts him in that realm.
What cannot be disputed is that no man has been able to submit or knock Jones out yet, but Santos’ compatriot and rising light-heavyweight Johnny Walker believes he can.
Many have said similar things in the past, but Walker has knocked out his last three opponents in under a combined three mintues.
Looking back at the main event of UFC 239, Walker thinks Jones has much more in his locker than he showed and if he doesn’t, Walker knows he can knock him out.
“I think he can do much better than that,” Walker told MMAfighting. “He definitely has to do more against me, otherwise I’ll knock him out in the first round.
“I think ‘Marreta’ was a great challenge,” he continued, “But ‘Marreta’ got hurt in the first round. Jones is the champion and would obviously win if it went to the scorecards, so I think he took his foot off the gas and the fight went the way you saw.”
Responding to a fan on twitter who suggested that Jones might fight Walker next, the UFC light-heavyweight champion referred to Walker as ‘unknown’.
“You guys want me to fight someone who is unknown to the general public and hasn’t even fought a top 10 opponent yet? Think about it. Besides if I beat him in December, what would everyone have to look forward to?”
Walker didn’t take that to heart. He agrees with Jones’ assessment, but, at the same time, warns his future foe not to underestimate him.
“Well, he’s right,” Walker said. “I still haven’t done much (in the UFC). But there aren’t many guys who would give me a big challenge. I don’t have to beat a top 5. People talk too much crap, man. People say I don’t have jiu-jitsu, I don’t have wrestling. They say I have to fight a wrestler. The last wrestler I fought lasted five seconds. I’m ready for him and I know I’d be a big challenge. I think he’s afraid to lose to an unknown guy.”
It’s been suggested that the UFC are having a hard time finding guys who want to take on the 6’5″ ultra-fast Walker and the Brazilian is willing to step up to heavyweight if he has to.
In fact, Francis Ngannou is a man he would target if given the chance, and not many people would do that.
“I’d like to impress the fans by beating Francis Ngannou. He’s a machine,” Walker said. “He impressed so many people with his punching power, the way he finishes his fights. People is scared to fight him. I’m not scared to fight him. We have the same punching power. I did the test at the UFC Performance Institute. I was coming off a surgery and almost did the same number he did, so I have the same power or even more. I can definitely defeat him.
“I think I’ll have to fight two more times before fighting (Jones), so I’ll get things going in any division,” he continued. “If they need a fight at heavyweight, I’m in. I don’t choose opponents. I’ll fight anyone. I don’t care if it’s a top 10, a top 20, a top 2. It’s just a regular human being that will get beat up the same way.”
Walker has made no secret about his desire to unify the light-heavyweight and heavyweight division and if confidence is anything to do with it, he’s got every chance.
“It will happen. That’s my plan,” Walker said. “I want two belts. It’s not ‘if’, it’s ‘when’. I came here to make history. This is what I do for a living. I chose to do this for a living. If I was an engineer or a Formula 1 driver I’d want to be the No. 1. I’m a fighter, and I want to be the greatest of all-time.”