UFC light-heavyweight Johnny Walker appears to have mixed feelings about his recent training sessions with outspoken middleweight contender Sean Strickland, admitting that he found him ‘annoying’, but at the same time came away from the experience having sharpened his skills.
“We had two sparring sessions,” Walker told Ag Fight. “The first one I had just come back from Brazil. I had been eating sweets, barbecue. I arrived in Vegas, I took my COVID-19 shot and booked the session. That day I had a fever, my body was aching, I was all messed up. I was unable to put on a good performance because I felt tired. Still, I put up a fight. In the last round, he was shouting ‘Come on. Let’s go.’. I was like, ‘Let’s go.’. But I felt sleepy, my body ached.
“Annoying guy. He has good boxing, but if you add kicks and elbows, he can’t play.”
“Two days later, after the COVID-19 shot effects had worn off, I asked him to do it again and he accepted it.” Walker continued. “That time around it was different, I was the one shouting at him. He likes to yell, he’s a crazy guy, but cool.
“I learned some stuff from him. He used his elbow to block punches when boxing. He can stop crosses like that and it hurts the hand. I even hurt my biceps. I got that technique from him. I think it works for me, it was nice.”
Walker, who is coming off a loss to Thiago Santos last month doesn’t currently have a fight booked, so he’ll have to wait a while to test his newfound skills, while Strickland was supposed to fight Luke Rockhold at UFC 268 recently, but his opponent withdrew due to a herniated disc.