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If Octagon jitters exist, Johnny
Walker
was immune to them.

Walker made his
Ultimate Fighting Championship
debut to little fanfare in 2018,
then proceeded to rip through his first three opponents—Khalil
Rountree
, Justin
Ledet
and Misha
Cirkunov
—in less than three minutes combined, injecting
much-needed life into the light heavyweight division. UFC
evaluators wondered if they had an unlikely contender on their
hands, and the jury remains out. In two subsequent appearances,
Walker was knocked out by “The Ultimate Fighter 19” winner Corey
Anderson
and Ukrainian brute Nikita
Krylov
.

With Walker’s next move uncertain, here are five things you might
not know about him:

1. He developed a championship pedigree on the regional
circuit.

Walker captured titles in two organizations—Ultimate Challenge MMA
and European Beatdown—prior to his arrival in the UFC. He knocked
out Stuart
Austin
with a knee strike to win the UCMMA light heavyweight
championship on Feb. 10, 2018 and dismissed Cheick Kone
with punches to take the Extreme Beatdown light heavyweight crown
on March 17, 2018.

2. A live-by-the-sword-die-by-the-sword approach
defines him.

All but two of Walker’s fights, 16 of his 17 wins and four of his
five losses, have resulted in a finish. He won a unanimous decision
over Henrique
da Silva
on Aug. 11, 2018 and lost a unanimous verdict to
Krylov on March 14, 2020.

3. Height sets him apart.

At 6-foot-5, Walker is the tallest light heavyweight on the active
UFC roster—an inch taller than Ryan Spann,
Alexander
Gustafsson
and Kennedy
Nzechukwu
. He stands 10 inches taller than the organization’s
shortest competitors at 205 pounds: Dalcha
Lungiambula
.

4. He already holds a prominent spot in the record
book.

Walker recorded the fifth-fastest finish in Ultimate Fighting
Championship light heavyweight history when he wiped out Ledet 15
seconds into the first round of their UFC Fight Night 144
encounter. Only Ryan Jimmo
(seven seconds), James Irvin
(eight seconds), Anthony
Johnson
(13 seconds) and Anthony
Perosh
(14 seconds) have closed out fights quicker at 205
pounds.

5. His skills are in demand.

The 28-year-old Walker has competed in 16 different promotions
during his 22-fight career. In addition to the UFC, he has appeared
in
Dana White’s Contender Series
, European Beatdown, Krwawy Sport,
Ultimate Challenge MMA, Brave Combat Federation, Katana Fight,
Jungle
Fight
, Imortal Fight Championship, Samurai Fight Combat, Parana
Vale Tudo, Peru Fighting Championship, Circuito Team Nogueira de
MMA, Gigante Fight, Uba Fight and Circuito Invictus de MMA. His 22
bouts have taken place in six separate countries: the United
States, Brazil, Peru, England, Belgium and Argentina.


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