Johnny Walker believes the “only chance” Ion Cutelaba beats him is if he “does something really different” at UFC 279, says he will retire at 35 if he’s not the champ

By Cole Shelton - September 6, 2022

Johnny Walker is confident he will not just beat Ion Cutelaba at UFC 279 but will put on a very good performance.

Johnny Walker

Walker is coming off a KO loss to Jamahal Hill back in February and since then he says he has been working a lot on his striking defense. He spent time in Thailand working on his striking and he’s confident it will all pay off at UFC 279.

“Yeah, 100 percent, I take a lot of time off, thinking and training. I started my camp for this fight a long time ago, more than three months,” Walker said on Just Scrap Radio on “I was in Thailand sharpening my muay Thai, it was a long camp and I’ve been working my ass for this one. I’ve been working a lot on my defense, my boxing defense, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, I can’t wait to fight.”

When Walker steps into the Octagon at UFC 279, he will be across from Ion Cutelaba who he’s very familiar with. The two have fought come of the same opponents and when watching those contests, the Brazilian only gains confidence heading into the fight.

With Johnny Walker having months of camp to study Cutelaba, he believes he matches up well and thinks the only way Cutelaba wins is if he surprises him with something he hasn’t done before.

“I’ve mostly beat the guys he lost to, so I have a little advantage. But, I’m getting ready for him, I know when he gets tired, what’s his best shot, what he does when he walks forward, what he does when he is on his back foot, his attack, his defense,” Walker said. “I’m ready to fight Ion Cutelaba, I’m ready, bro. I’m doing everything I can to be 100 percent ready for this guy. The only chance he has against me is to surprise me and does something really different but he can’t. Fighters don’t change in a couple of months, you need years of training.”

Although Walker is confident he will get his hand raised, he also wants to put on a performance now that he is fighting in front of fans again.

“I’m looking to win, of course, but I want to put on a performance. I want to make myself look good in this fight, I’ve been working my ass really hard. I’ve been really committed,” Walker said.

If Walker does get his hand raised on Saturday in Las Vegas, the goal is to fight at UFC Rio in Brazil in January against whoever the UFC gives him. However, the pressure is on him to get close to the belt as he says he will retire at 35 if he isn’t the champ or near the belt.

“I’m not rushing my career, I really wish I can fight on UFC Rio in January. I want to keep active next year hopefully with no injuries or surgeries as in the last three years, I’ve had three surgeries,” Walker concluded. “I’m 30 years old and I promised myself that I have until 35 to become champ. If I’m 35 and not near the champ I will quit and will do another thing in my life.”

Do you think Johnny Walker will beat Ion Cutelaba at UFC 279?