There has been a lot of debate over the last few weeks, on whether or not the UFC should ban oblique kicks and lead leg side kicks to the knee. UFC light heavyweight Johnny Walker does not think this should be the case at all.
Walker competes in the same division as Khalil Rounteee, who recently won a fight against Modestas Bukauskas with a kick to the knee. This has reignited the argument that some have made, calling for these kicks to be banned, with the MMA Rules Committee even planning to address the rules regarding this technique at their next meeting.
Speaking in an interview with MiddleEasy, Johnny explained that he does not think these types of kicks should be banned. He says that anything can cause injury in MMA, so if you ban this technique, you may as well ban the sport altogether.
“It’s a legal shot. The guy that fights against him should defend, take his leg out. His leg was a little bit not in a fight stance, he was a little bit relaxed. Bro, you can’t relax in a fight, you have to move around and defend yourself, because you’re going to get hurt” Walker said.
“If you’re going to ban this kick, you have to ban elbows, ban everything because you can get hurt from anything… Anything you can get hurt. I hurt myself celebrating, you know? … So I believe this kick is okay, if you keep doing them.”
Thiago Santos Is A Legend
The next time he steps in the Octagon, Johnny Walker will be taking on fellow Brazilian Thiago Santos, in his first ever main event on October 2nd. This is something that he is excited about, especially given the high profile of his first ever five round main event.
As far as the fight itself goes, Johnny has a lot of respect for Thiago and will be ready to fight for all five rounds. However given the power that both men possess, he says it is very possible that the bout will be over in the first frame.
“I’m very excited. Thiago is a hero in Brazil, he’s a legend already. He’s done so much for the sport… It’s going to be so much fun for me fighting against this guy,” Walker said.
“Nobody is tough enough to not get finished in the first round, but I’m ready for five rounds. I know I can knock anybody out in the division. Any division. I have power for this, and he has power as well. He can knock people out. So maybe the fight is going to finish in the first, maybe the fight will go the five rounds, but one thing I know for sure is I won’t let this fight (go to the judges). I never like to do this, so I will submit him or get the stoppage.”
Johnny Walker Will Follow Jon Jones
Former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones vacated his title with the plan to move to heavyweight. While that move still has not happened yet, Johnny Walker believes that Jones is doing the right thing when it comes to bulking up for this move, and that Jon will be making that debut soon.
On top of that, Johnny says that he plans to follow in the footsteps of the former champ, and eventually go to heavyweight himself. Although before that happens, he says that he wants to make sure he gives his all at 205lb.
“I think Dana White said (Jones) is probably going to fight next year. He’s doing the right things, lifting a lot of weights, getting stronger, doing a lot of heavyweight sparring, adapting his body. I think he’s going to take his time and do everything with no rush,” Walker said.
“I’m excited to see him at heavyweight and see what his power is going to be, because that is my future as well. I’m going to be a heavyweight too.”
It is going to be interesting to see how Johnny Walker can do at heavyweight, when he decides to make the move. First up though, is his bout with Thiago Santos on October 2nd.