Johnny Walker Equates UFC 294 Stoppage to Aljamain Sterling’s Disqualification Title Win

Johnny Walker expressed deep disappointment regarding the abrupt conclusion of his UFC 294 clash against Magomed Ankalaev. The much-anticipated fight, part of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s marquee card that took place on a Saturday in Abu Dhabi, ended unexpectedly. The highly-regarded fighters had barely initiated the bout when Ankalaev, with a score of 17 wins and just one loss, landed a knee on a grounded Walker’s chin. Following this, a cage-side doctor conversed with Walker and determined him unfit to proceed. This announcement brought the fight to an abrupt end and led to a visibly confused Walker protesting around the cage.

Walker later narrated his side of the story during an appearance on “The MMA Hour.” The 31-year-old fighter shared that the confusion emerged primarily because of a language barrier between him and the official. When the official asked him if he wished to continue fighting, Walker confirmed that he did. However, when the official inquired about his location, uncertainties stemming from his excitement and communication issues led him to offer a flippant response, referring to being in the desert in the Middle East. He emphasized that although he understood the official well, his focus was on providing a correct response amid the situation’s intensity.

In his statement, Walker drew a comparison between his situation and Aljamain Sterling’s victory over Petr Yan at UFC 259 in 2021. Sterling made history as the first UFC fighter to clinch the championship via a disqualification win following Yan’s illegal knee strike when Sterling was grounded. While Walker does not aspire to win the UFC championship in a similar manner, he felt Ankalaev should have faced penalties for his illegal move. “They didn’t give me time to calm down, to recover,” lamented Walker. He argued that an illegal knee strike on the face was severe and could potentially cause brain damage. In light of this, he suggested penal actions against Ankalaev like deduction of points or disqualification.

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