The bout between Magomed Ankalaev and Johnny Walker ended prematurely after an unexpected and unsportsmanlike act during UFC 294. Walker was deemed unable to continue the match after sustaining an unlawful knee from Ankalaev. The ruling was considered to be controversial, with speculations that Walker was prepared to continue the combat. However, the Brazilian fighter apparently did not respond satisfactorily to the cageside physician’s verbal examination.
Dana White, the UFC CEO aired his thoughts on the situation during Saturday’s post-fight press conference. He expressed his belief in Walker’s readiness to continue the fight but recognized that the seeming language barrier with the doctor could have triggered a misunderstanding. He expressed his disappointment about the incident, citing it as a consequence of inexperience. However, he assured that amends would be made to rectify the situation and uphold the prestige of the sport.
The controversies of the match did not end after the call by the cageside physician. Tensions ran high in the aftermath of the ruling, seeing that both Walker and Ankalaev appeared situated for another round. Amid the uproar, both fighters had to be restrained by onsite officials, with Dana White himself stepping into the Octagon to calm the situation. This match outcome was notably unsatisfactory for Ankalaev, considering his previous match against Jan Blachowicz at UFC 282 ended in a split draw. Walker, on the other hand, was unable to utilize UFC 294 to extend his three-match winning streak.