Johnny Walker, one of the top young light heavyweights in the game, is eager to get a shot at the belt.
Speaking to reporters at UFC 237 in Rio de Janeiro, the streaking UFC light heavyweight contender said he wants to fight UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones as soon as possible.
“I’m ready to fight Jon Jones already,” Walker told reporters at UFC 237, as transcribed by MMAFighting.com‘s Guilherme Cruz. “All I need is to recover my shoulder and have a decent camp. But I’m ready. I have enough technique and experience for that. I don’t think he has anything to surprise me.
“I’m ready to beat Jon Jones now. Anyone they put (against me), I’ll accept it, but I’d rather fight someone from the top-five next. But if it’s a top 10, that’s okay, I’m the No. 12 light heavyweight now. I’ll accept anyone that’s ahead of me, but I want to beat Jon Jones. But I have to go slowly, I don’t want to take anyone’s spot. Many people deserve it more than me, I still have a lot to show, and I will conquer my space.”
Walker (17-3) has quickly become one of the UFC’s biggest stars in Brazil. Just 27-years-old, he is currently riding a nine-fight win streak in his MMA career. He’s already 3-0 in the UFC with three first-round knockout wins over Khalil Rountree, Justin Ledet, and Misha Cirkunov.
After his 36-second win over Cirkunov, Walker did “the worm” and injured his shoulder during his victory celebration. He recently had shoulder surgery and is ready to return later this year.
Walker’s manager Lucas Lutkus spoke to reporters at a PokerStars dinner before UFC 237 (Walker is the UFC PokerStars ambassador in Brazil). BJPenn.com’s Adam Martin was present at this dinner. Lutkus said that if it isn’t Jones next, their team would like to fight either Dominick Reyes, Corey Anderson, Glover Teixeira, or Alexander Gustafsson next.
But regardless of who he fights next, Johnny Walker is looking at it as a stepping stone to get to Jon Jones and the belt.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 5/15/2019.