Johnny Walker says he was not in the right place mentally or emotionally for his UFC 244 fight against Corey Anderson.
In the fight, the Brazilian suffered his first defeat inside the Octagon, losing by first-round TKO. While he is reluctant to make excuses or take anything away from Anderson, he feels he was not in the right headspace ahead of the fight.
“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 told BJPENN.com. “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 says he will go home and see his family and make changes to his training camp, the people he surrounds himself with, and more.
He says he needs to find the motivation to fight again.
The Brazilian also believes he did not fight as he should have because he was worried about being taken down.
“I changed my game plan too much for this fight. Everyone said he was a wrestler and wants to take me down,” Walker explained. “Too many people talked to me about him taking me down, so it made me change my game. If I start the fight like I always start and go inside and give my kicks, my knees, my punch, I knock him out. I don’t know why I held myself from going at it. And then this happened.
“A lot of things happened. He can not take me down, I have good takedown defense and good wrestling,” Walker later added. “So, this fight showed me I can defend the takedown because he tried and I stuffed it. I’m not focused on the fight, as well. My mind was not good to fight, I was not excited. But, I will never let this happen again.”
Johnny Walker believes this setback will ultimately be beneficial to his career and his life. He plans on evaluating everything in his life and assures he will be more than ready for his next fight.
“I will learn a lot. Not just the technique and the fight, but about life. Everything can make a difference,” he said. “Just how people talk to you, who is around you. You have to be happy with everything and I want to change everything to make my next fight perfect.”
He hopes time in Brazil will get him motivated again and says he wants to fight again in early 2020. He already has an opponent in mind, too.
“I want the winner of Shogun Rua and Paul Craig at UFC Sao Paulo. I’ll be at the event to watch it and I want to fight the winner,” he said.
Even though he suffered a loss, Walker is still confident and knows he is coming for Jon Jones and the title in the future.
“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.”
What do you make of Johnny Walker opening up about his sadness and not being motivated to fight anymore?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/8/2019.