Johnny Walker’s latest fight against Magomed Ankalaev at UFC 294 this past weekend ended in controversial fashion when the cage-side doctor ruled that he couldn’t continue after receiving an illegal knee to the head, resulting in no-contest.
It was a surprising decision as Walker was on his feet at the time and appeared ready to continue, but the word afterwards was that the doctor hadn’t been satisfied with the Brazilian’s answers to his questions and so made the call to pull the plug on the fight – something that’s clearly left Walker frustrated.
“He asked me if I wanted to continue fighting,” Walker said on The MMA Hour show. “I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Where are you?’ I didn’t want to say the wrong answer because I was excited when he was doing the test and I wanted to say the right answer. I thought to say Abu Dhabi … and then I said, ‘Fine, I’m in the f****** desert, bro. I’m here. I’m good. … I’m in the desert. I’m in the Middle East.’”
“I can speak good English. The doctor wasn’t in his native language and had a heavy accent as well, I understand what he said. I tried to explain and give the right answer to him, but in the middle of the situation, maybe I fight for the title shot and everything, my mind is going a thousand miles an hour. I received the shot in my face and I was OK to fight. Even my last fight against Anthony Smith, he said I attacked his family, I had no idea what he was talking about. ‘You attacked my family.’ ‘What?’ I didn’t understand.
“It’s the same situation. It’s very complicated because you go a thousand miles an hour, you’re fighting for your life and your career, hopefully get a title shot after, and everything’s over, it’s very disappointing.”
Walker also feels hard-done-by that the doctor didn’t give him a chance to recover from the illegal knee that landed flush to his face before quizzing him.
“They didn’t give me time to calm down, to recover,” Walker said. “If I had gotten kicked in the balls, I have five minutes to recover. I’m kneed in the face, I have nothing to recover. An illegal knee in the face? It’s more disappointing because the same thing happened with Aljamain and he became a champ after a knee like that.
“I don’t want to become champion [like that], but maybe take points off of him and the fight continues, or maybe disqualify him or whatever. It’s an illegal shot. He could put me out with a very illegal shot. I could have damage in my brain. Before, I gave him a legal and intentional knee on the middle, I came in with the flying knee and I missed. But on the floor, you know the rules. It’s a very dirty move. I’m upset.”
After the fight was waved off Walker was clearly fuming and tried several times to get the officials to restart the fight, but there was no turning back once the decision had been made.
“You don’t want to take points off, you don’t want to disqualify him, I want to keep fighting,” Walker said. “Let’s f****** fight anyway. It’s so much hard work. The dreams, the career, many people depend on me. My family, my future, and I was like, ‘What the f***?’ I want to fight everyone here then. I was losing my mind.”
Now that the dust has settled Walker has now been left concerned with what comes next, particularly financially, after spending a lot of money on his fight camp.
“There’s so much investment and it’s just disappointing. … I’ll come back and wait for the decision, what’s going to happen next, and just wait. I have nothing to do. Check if I have any injuries and then see what’s the next step to do.”
“Probably I’m not getting the win bonus. I don’t know how much money I’m going to get. I spent so much money on this fight. I booked a big house for my whole team, I booked everybody’s flights, my wife came with me. It’s so much money. I’m in the red now, I can’t wait to receive some money so I can start paying my bills. It’s just sad because I was doing so good in the fight. He didn’t touch me, no significant strikes, one was [the illegal] strike. I’m 100 percent sure I can finish him and knock him out, but now it’s just disappointing.”