A light-heavyweight rematch between Magomed Ankalaev and Johnny Walker will headline the UFC’s first event of 2024, UFC Fight Night 234 on January 13rd in Las Vegas.
These two originally squared off at UFC 294 just a few weeks ago, but the fight ended prematurely mid-way through the opening round when an illegal knee on the ground from Ankalaev resulted in the fight ending in a no-contest ruling.
It was a controversial decision from the cage-side doctor to declare that Walker couldn’t continue as he appeared to make up his mind quite quickly despite the fighter himself being insistent afterwards that he was ok to keep fighting.
Prior to their first fight Anakalaev had been coming in off a split-draw against Jan Blachowicz in their unsuccessful attempt to establish a new light-heavyweight champion. Nonetheless, including the no-contest against Walker, Ankalaev has now gone unbeaten in his last 11 fights and is currently ranked at No.3 in the 205lb division.
As for Walker, he managed to shake off a poor run of form by winning three fights in a row over Ion Cutelaba, Paul Craig and Anthony Smith and as such has risen back up to the No.7 spot on the ladder.
Ankalaev vs. Walker leads a UFC Fight Night 234 card that will also feature Andrei Arlovski vs. Waldo Cortes-Acosta, Ricky Simon vs. Mario Bautista and Macy Chiasson vs. Ketlen Vieira.