Johnny Walker plans to stuff Magomed Ankalaev’s takedowns, ‘make him quit’ at UFC 294

ABU DHABI – Brazilian fighter, Johnny Walker, is ready to throw a curveball at his opponent, Russian fighter Magomed Ankalaev, by showcasing his impressive takedown defense skills and making him regret it.

Walker, with a record of 21-7, is going head-to-head with the 18-1-1 Ankalaev in a crucial light heavyweight match as part of the upcoming UFC 294 event. Viewers can catch the main card on pay-per-view at a unique time of 2 p.m. ET, following prelims on ESPN+.

Anticipating Ankalaev’s strategy, Walker predicts that his opponent will try to bring the fight to the ground early on. However, Walker is confident in his ability to thwart any takedown attempts.

Walker shared, “He will most likely prefer to start with stand-up combat, relying on his boxing skills. But, as soon as he gets the opportunity, he will attempt takedowns.” Walker continued, “I will counter him, defend against takedowns, and prevent him from progressing, as he is also a skilled counter-striker. If I charge forward recklessly, he will find a way to counter me.”

Walker revealed his game plan,”I’m going to be patient, waiting for the perfect moment, making sure my footwork is on point. Ankalaev will soon realize that my reach is too long for him to engage me in striking, compelling him to attempt takedowns. At that moment, he will realize that I am a formidable wrestler, and he will be left with no options. I will make him surrender. And if he doesn’t quit, and it turns out that he is indeed a better fighter, I will learn from this experience, train harder, and come back stronger. However, in my vision, I am certain that I am prepared.”

Ankalaev is coming off a surprising split draw in his title fight against Jan Blachowicz at UFC 282 and has not suffered a loss since March 2018. Walker believes that a victory over Ankalaev will prove his readiness to compete for the championship title.

Walker expressed his excitement for the challenge, stating, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to face a fighter like him, as it will serve as a demonstration to everyone, and to myself, that I am capable of achieving great things.” Walker added, “By defeating him, I will have earned a title shot.”

For more details about the event, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 294.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie


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