Rising light heavyweight prospect Johnny Walker has been booked for his next fight — and it’s a big one. The Brazilian knockout artist has stepped in to replace the injured Ovince Saint Preux against Canada’s Misha Cirkunov at UFC 235, which goes down on March 2 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
News of this new matchup was first reported by MMA Fighting.
This is an opportunity Johnny Walker asked for. He offered to step in against Cirkunov shortly after Saint Preux was forced off the card.
“Hey [Misha Cirkunov]” he wrote. “I heard you need a new opponent for UFC 235? I might know someone… [UFC, Dana White] I am waiting for the call.”
Johnny Walker will enter this fight with a 16-3 overall record. He burst into the international MMA limelight with a defeat of Luis Henrique da Silva on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series — a win that earned him a UFC contract. Since then, he’s gone 2-0 in the Octagon, defeating Khalil Rountree and Justin Ledet, both by first round knockout.
Misha Cirkunov, on the other hand, is 14-4 overall. In his last fight, he picked up a first-round submission win over talented wrestler Patrick Cummins. This win served to separate him from a submission loss to former title challenger Glover Teixeira, and a knockout loss to Volkan Oezdemir.
This Johnny Walker vs. Misha Cirkunov fight will not be the only light heavyweight attraction on the UFC 235 bill. The card will be headlined by a light heavyweight title fight between champ Jon Jones and fearsome challenger Anthony Smith.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/12/2019.