Johnny Walker interested in fighting Anthony Smith

Johnny Walker, Jon Jones, Jimi Manuwa
Image: @ufc on Instagram

UFC light heavyweight contender Johnny Walker says he is interested in fighting former title challenger Anthony Smith next.

Walker defeated Ryan Spann via first-round TKO in a crazy back-and-forth brawl at UFC Vegas 11. It was a much-needed win for Walker, who had lost back-to-back fights to Corey Anderson and Nikita Krylov heading into this fight. Following the win over Spann, Walker now has a 4-2 overall record in the UFC with four knockout wins.

The question that everyone is asking now is who should Walker fight next? Although he’s just 1-2 in his last three, he is still a top-15 fighter in the UFC light heavyweight division. If you ask Walker who he would like to fight, it could be Smith. Speaking to Combate’s Evelyn Rodrigues following UFC Vegas 11, Walker said Smith is on his list.

“Maybe Anthony Smith, or anyone who is above me in the ranking. I don’t like to fight with a Brazilian, but if I have to fight, we fight,” Walker said about his next opponent.

Although Smith is ranked a bit above Walker in the rankings, this is still a very realistic matchup considering the slide Smith is on right now. He’s still in the top 10 but seems destined to be used as a gatekeeper now. After making a run up the light heavyweight rankings in 2018 – 2019, Smith has now lost three of his last four fights including back-to-back one-sided beatings to Glover Teixeira and Aleksandar Rakic.

Walker likely views Smith as a winnable fight with upside and that’s why he would like to fight him. Not to mention this would be another stylistically exciting fight for the fans that likely wouldn’t go the full 15-minute distance. Then again, there’s no sure thing Smith takes the fight considering he mentioned possibly switching weight classes after his last loss. In that case, Walker could potentially look at other top-10 fighters such as Volkan Oezdemir and Jiri Prochazka as potential upcoming opponents instead.

Who do you think would win, Johnny Walker or Anthony Smith?