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Tyson Nam wants to get out of shape, then take a shot at Joseph Benavidez
nt" LAS VEGAS – Johnny Walker dialed things back a little and returned to the win column as the Brazilian notched his first UFC win since March 2019. Walker (18-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC) defeated Ryan Spann via first-round TKO at UFC on ESPN+ 36 after a wild fight that...
LAS VEGAS – Johnny Walker dialed things back a little and returned to the win column as the Brazilian notched his first UFC win since March 2019.
Walker (18-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC) defeated Ryan Spann via first-round TKO at UFC on ESPN+ 36 after a wild fight that saw him get clipped early, then come storming back to claim the finish.
Speaking to the media, including MMA Junkie, backstage at the UFC Apex following his win, Walker admitted that, despite securing the victory, he wasn’t entirely satisfied with his performance.
“I’m not happy I get dropped (but) I am happy for the win, but I am not happy with my performance,” he said. “I should move more, I should get more from the fight. So I think I need more time, a bit more activity. But I’m happy that I won, but not in the way I think I should have won.”
Walker’s victory righted the ship for the Brazilian after he suffered back-to-back defeats to Corey Anderson and Nikita Krylov. But, rather than viewing those defeats as negative points in his career, the 28-year-old said he’s accepted them as necessary milestones in his evolution as a mixed martial artist.
“I see my two losses as part of the process. They had to happen,” he said. “I don’t have too much experience – just six years as a professional and two years in the UFC, but most of the time I was coming back from my injury. It’s part of the process, I just see that I learn from there, and I tell myself that if I need to learn anything else, I hope I can learn from my victories.”
There was a little consternation from Spann’s corner after the fight, with some of Walker’s fight-ending blows thought to have been illegal as they strayed from legal side-of-the-head shots to illegal back-of-the-head strikes. Walker said he isn’t a dirty fighter, and that he didn’t think he landed illegal shots.
“I try to be more professional. I try to hit on the right place on the side of the head,” he said. “But it’s not my job. My job is to fight. I don’t want to land illegal blows. I don’t try to hit the back of his head. I don’t think I did.”
Following his win over Spann (18-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC), Walker said he’s sticking around in Vegas for another month and will be available to step in to fight at light heavyweight or heavyweight during that time. But he also said that any repeat bookings in the octagon are likely to see fewer breakdances and crazy antics than before as he looks to focus on his fighting moving forward.
“I’ve toned down now, just a little bit,” he smiled. “I want to try to find the perfect balance, you know?”
Niko Price had a killer opening round against Donald Cerrone in their UFC on ESPN+ 36 co-feature. But Price got a bit too exuberant along the way and was docked a point for an eye poke in their welterweight matchup, and that spelled the difference between what would have...
But Price got a bit too exuberant along the way and was docked a point for an eye poke in their welterweight matchup, and that spelled the difference between what would have been a split decision win and a majority draw. The judges’ scores in Las Vegas were 29-27 Cerrone and a pair of 28-28s.
Price (14-4-1 MMA, 6-4-1 UFC) got off to a furious start in the opening round, landing 40 strikes in a little more than two minutes into the bout. Price was sharp in delivering in a wide array of strikes, with combos and body kicks from distance and elbows and knees in the clinch.
Several times during the round, Cerrone (36-15-1 MMA, 23-12-1 UFC) appeared not far off from being finished. But Price poked Cerrone in both eyes along the way, with the second infraction late in the round earning a point deduction from referee Jason Herzog.
By the second round, it was clear Cerrone was back in the fight. He nearly matched Price, who couldn’t maintain his early pace, in significant strikes, with both men giving at taking over the course of the bout.
Both competitors once again had their moments in an eventful final round that included a rare double timeout, as both delivered eye pokes at the same time. Cerrone at one point got Price’s back while standing and nearly sunk in a rear-naked choke. After price threw him off, the final moments of the bout saw both go for broke all the way to the final horn.
While he doesn’t get back into the win column, the draw ended a four-fight losing streak for Cerrone. Price is 1-2-1 in his past four.
The welterweight bout was the UFC on ESPN+ 36 co-main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. It streamed on ESPN+.
Up-to-the-minute UFC on ESPN+ 36 results include:
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