Johnny Walker targeting September return following recent shoulder surgery

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

One of the UFC light heavyweight division’s top prospects, Johnny Walker, is set to return to the Octagon this fall.

According to ESPN.com’s Ariel Helwani, Walker has been medically cleared to begin MMA training following shoulder surgery, and his team wants him to fight again in September. According to his manager Lucas Lutkus, Johnny Walker is eyeing a top-10 opponent opponent in his return to the cage.

“A top-10 fighter is what we have been talking with the UFC about,” Lutkus told Helwani. “(Walker) is No. 10 now with (Alexander) Gustafsson and (Jimi) Manuwa retired, so it is what makes sense.”

According to Lutkus, Walker has his eyes on anyone in top-10, but the manager did name a couple fighters that he specifically has his eyes set on.

“Honestly, Johnny will take on any name offered,” Lutkus said. “Be it a vet like Glover (Teixeira) or a prospect like (Dominick) Reyes or (Aleksander) Rakic, he loves every possibility of matchup.”

Johnny Walker (17-3) is currently riding a nine-fight win streak overall, which includes a brilliant 3-0 run in the UFC. In his first three fights inside he Octagon, Walker knocked out Khalil Rountree, Justin Ledet and Misha Cirkunov to emerge as one of the light heavyweight division’s most promising young fighters.

However, Walker injured his shoulder when he celebrated at UFC 235 following his quick KO win over Cirkunov. He initially hoped not to have surgery on his shoulder, but the UFC suggested he get it done so as to avoid re-injuring his shoulder down the line

According to the report, Walker rehabbed his injury in Thailand and at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas. It appears everything has gone smoothly, and Walker is now set to the Octagon very shortly.

Who do you want Johnny Walker to fight in his return to the Octagon? Leave a comment below with your favorite possible matchup.