Johnny Walker has disclosed the conversation between himself and the UFC doctor, seconds before his UFC 294 bout was brought to an unexpected end.
In an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, the Light Heavyweight addressed the peculiar stoppage of his fight against Magomed Ankalaev on Saturday night. Ankalaev landed a knee flush to the head of a downed Walker, leading to the referee calling for a time out and summoning the doctor to assess the Brazilian. Following an extremely short assessment, the contest was waved off on the advice of the doctor.
The broadcast did not appear to pick up the dialogue that took place during the assessment but Walker revealed to Helwani exactly what was said. He said:
“He (the doctor) asked me if I wanted to continue fighting and I said yes. He said where was I and I don’t want to say the wrong answer because I knew the assignment, it was the test, right? And I wanted (to give) the right answer, so I thought just say Abu Dhabi but I said ‘I am in the f***king desert bro and I am here, good.’
“I can speak good English you know and the doctor was not (speaking) in his native language and had a very heavy accent as well. I understand what he is wanting (me) to say but I was trying to explain to him what I was doing, with the right answer to him you know?
“In the middle of the situation, maybe this is a fight for a title shot and everything. I don’t know, my mind is going at 1,000 miles an hour and I’d received a shot to my face and I was okay to fight. Even in my last fight with Anthony (Smith) he said I had attacked his family. I have no idea what he was talking about. ‘I attacked your family? What?’ I didn’t understand like, it is the same situation.
“It is a very complicated situation because you go out a thousand miles an hour, you’re fighting for your life, your career, hopefully get a title shot after and everything this over – it is very disappointing.”
When asked if that was the only speech to take place between the two, Walker divulged that he was asked one more question before the doctor called time on the fight.
“I think that was it and maybe he asked which fight is this? Maybe I answer like ‘Bro, this is a very important fight, it’s a fight to get a title shot against (the) champion, come on.’ Like, I was trying to show that I was okay, I was getting desperate because I don’t want the fight to stop. We had trained so hard for that moment.
“I think he should’ve give me 5 minutes first. Then he come ask me a question, and maybe he brings a f***ing translator who can speak my language.”
The shot in question came just three minutes into the first round and along with a more indepth assessment, the Brazilian felt he should have been given more time to collect his thoughts before being assessed.
“If it was a kick in the balls I have 5 minutes to recover, a knee in the face, I have nothing to recover. It’s more disappointing. It was the same thing with Aljamain (Sterling) and he became a champ with it that way, I don’t want to become champ (that way) but maybe they could take points or disqualify him because it is an illegal shot, he could put me out bro, its a very illegal shot, i could have damage on my brain or something.”
Following the decision to end the contest, the SBG Ireland man shoved the referee out of the way and spurred Ankalaev on to continue the bout, with the commissioners having to come between the two & Dana White ultimately having to enter the cage to calm tempers.
“You don’t want to take points, you don’t want to disqualify him, I want to keep fighting, let’s f***ing fight anyway. There is so much hard work, its a dream, its a career, so many people depend on me, my family, my future. I was like ‘what the fuck? I want to fight’ I was losing my mind.
“He tried to say something but he said it in Russian and my Russian is not the best.”
Throughout the interview Walker alluded to the fact that the winner would get a title shot. When asked about this, he admitted that nothing was confirmed but he couldn’t see how the winner would not get a shot at UFC gold.
“Nobody told me that (it was for a title shot) but imagine I beat the number 2 in the world, what do you want next? The division is a f***ing mess. I am going to go through this division to clean this sh*t up and be the f***ing man there you know?”
To close out the interview, Helwani asked if Walker had a message for Ankalaev, he simply flipped both middle fingers at the camera. It is unclear as to whether the fight will be remade further down the line or if the UFC will explore other options for the pair but it is clear that the confusing ending has left a bad taste in Walker’s mouth.
By Jake Smith.