Magomed Ankalaev and Johnny Walker are set to face off in the headline event of an Ultimate Fighting Championship match on January 13. The two fighters are looking to settle leftover tension from previous encounters in the ring. There has, however, been no official announcement from the Las Vegas-based promotion and thus far, the event lacks an assigned location or venue.
John Kavanagh, Johnny Walker’s coach, announced the match-up during an episode of “The MMA Hour.” Confirmation of the bout arrived via MMAjunkie.com. Their first encounter, which took place at UFC 294, ended in controversy after Ankalaev landed an illegal knee on Walker during the fight’s early stages. The action led to the intervention of a cageside physician who, upon examining Walker and posing a few questions, decided to call off the fight, much to the displeasure of both fighters.
This encounter marked the second consecutive letdown for Ankalaev, who previously fought Jan Blachowicz to a majority draw for the vacant light heavyweight title during UFC 282. Despite his efforts, the title remained unclaimed, causing both Ankalaev and Blachowicz to be overlooked for the next title shot. Before these two fights, Ankalaev had basked in a winning streak of nine consecutive UFC bouts. On the other hand, Walker had seen victories over Ion Cutelaba, Paul Craig, and Anthony Smith before the contest ended prematurely. Although Walker’s UFC journey has been a rollercoaster of highs and lows, he boasts a respectable 7-4 record overall.