Johnny Walker suffered a huge upset this past Saturday at UFC 244, losing via first-round TKO to betting underdog Corey Anderson at Madison Square Garden.
Walker believes he was too hesitant to engage with Anderson at UFC 244 and, speaking to BJPenn.com in a recent interview, the Brazilian fan favorite revealed he had little to no motivation to even prepare for the fight due to being separated from his family. Walker, whose family and friends are based in Brazil, was training on the other side of the world in Moscow, Russia to prepare for UFC 244.
“I am always very confident but I don’t feel the motivation to fight. I have been very far away from my family many times and I was sad with a lot of problems with my team, my coach and my life,” Walker said. “I’m not happy to fight and it is very stressful for fight week. Some things go wrong and it impacts me a lot. I don’t let it try to affect me but I don’t feel very happy to fight or want to win. I just want to go back to my family and recharge my energy. I’m going to make a lot of changes now.”
Walker plans to recharge the batteries and return to the UFC stronger than ever, teasing of an inevitable showdown with reigning UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, whose next title defense is expected to be against top-four ranked contender Dominick Reyes.
“I’m 27, I am young and hungry. I need two more wins then I’ll be back in the same place I am now. Two or three more wins and I can challenge Jones,” he said. “I want to fight soon, maybe January, February. I have no injury just want to go to Brazil to see my family, recharge my energy and come back strong again.”
As of writing, Walker (17-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is ranked #11 in the UFC’s official light heavyweight rankings.