Chris Duncan: From Adversity to Contender


This Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022, Chris Duncan will take another shot on ‘Dana White’s Contender Series, facing American Charlie “The Cannibal” Campbell.

“The Problem” first appeared on ‘DWCS’ on October 12th, 2021, when he faced Viacheslav Borshchev.

Duncan only started training in MMA 8 years ago at age 21 in Strathyre, Scotland, at MXP Fitness, after his mother would sneak him into boxing classes when he was younger against his grandparents’ wishes. However, his mum spotted early on that her son had a talent for fighting and went all the way out to support him. 

Fast forward eight years, the now 29-year-old athlete always knew that his first-ever job would have instilled a good work ethic within him.  

Working as a Shepard in Glen Lochay, Killin, back in 2013, Duncan’s week would revolve around working almost non-stop for six days, getting drunk on a Saturday night, feeling rough on a Sunday and then beginning the cycle again. Finally, feeling he was going down a slippery slope, Duncan decided to get fully involved with MMA, much to his mother’s joy, who was his biggest fan and cheerleader. 

Speaking with BBC Scotland sport, Duncan said, “When I didn’t have MMA, I needed to find something as I tended to find myself in bad situations; I would be fighting, drinking, doing stupid stuff and putting myself in stupid situations.” 

Duncan’s first amateur fight was booked for April 20th, 2014, for promotion, Scottish Fight Challenge; however, Duncan was informed that his mother Elaine had been murdered on the day of the weigh-in.

Duncan had just heard the most soul-destroying words to come out of someone’s mouth, let alone try to comprehend what they meant to him. But, instead of reacting with grief and fear, Duncan knew he had to carry on with the MMA event for the memory of his mum.

Stating that he had an epiphany about his mother’s death and how friends and relatives would say his mother would want him to keep going, he decided there and then to pursue MMA full time.

With fire in his soul, Duncan won his fight in 56 seconds of round 1 via ground & pound.

From this point on, something changed inside Duncan. “The Problem” had arrived.

Building up an amateur career of 8-1, Duncan chose to go into the paid ranks in 2018.

“Since I started MMA, I have never been in trouble with the police and not even got a speeding fine,” Duncan stated to BBC Scotland Sport.

“This isn’t just for money; this keeps me driven.”

This drive has taken Duncan to become one of Scotland’s top MMA athletes.

Going 3-0 on Scotland’s local circuit, Duncan got the chance to showcase his skills on a much bigger platform.  Bellator 217 Dublin.  Facing Irish prospect Sam Slater, Duncan got to work early and finished in 3 minutes, coming by TKO/KO.

In 2020, with a record of 4-0 and all those wins coming by way of finishes, it was only time Duncan was sought after by promotion Bellator and officially signed a contract with them.

After going 2-0 with Bellator and taking his overall record to 6-0, Duncan and Bellator partied ways amicably due to being unable to secure any fights; after all, we lived in the harshest conditions, and COVID-19 hit the world hard.

Although we were living in a new restrictive world, that didn’t bother Duncan as coming from a tough background, having grit, determination and going through the most challenging thing a person could ever go through, Duncan’s hard work shone through. He got a call to go to Las Vegas and try out for Dana White’s Contender Series.

Originally scheduled to compete on September 28th, that bout was cancelled, and Duncan was left waiting for a new opponent.  Having had two false starts on DWCS and making weight twice that same week, Duncan finally had an opponent and again made weight for the third time in a week and faced Viacheslav Borshchev on October 12th.

The then 7-0 prospect Chris Duncan was highly favoured against the 4-1 Team Alpha Male, Borshchev.

Despite a very competitive first round with both athletes having their fair share of the action, at 28 seconds of round two, Borshchev landed a clean left hook which laid Duncan flat out on the canvas.

And in turn, he handed Duncan his first professional loss and lost out on a lucrative contract with the UFC.

Not one to dwell on the past, the resilient and driven Chris Duncan made his way back home to Scotland to his girlfriend Laura and baby daughter Summer.

Not having to wait long before a new contract was offered to him with European promotion Cage Warriors on November 10th, Duncan didn’t hesitate to sign the contract.

However, Duncan never managed to put on the famous yellow gloves as he received a contract to appear in Dana White’s Contender Series.

Everything happens for a reason. It’s a time-old saying that “The Problem” has been dealt with in his life thus far, knowing that his mum is always with him on fight week, carrying a pendant on a chain with her fingerprint and wedding ring.  

Chris Duncan, now 8-1, is looking forward to showing the world the fighter he can be by firmly cementing his name on Dana White’s lips.

Look out for Chris Duncan’s headlined bout tonight (02/08/22) on UFC Fight pass.

RAGED UK MMA SEPTEMBER 10 2021 FULL RESULTS


Friday, September, 10th 2021, RAGED UK MMA hosted their 13th event back at the MECA, Swindon, where it all began in 2009.

Hosting their first live event since March 2020, due to the Covid pandemic Swindon fight, fans were in for a great night of beautiful violence.

For the first time in RAGED history they also held a live on PPV Fightworld TV for all of those who could not attend in person.

AMATUER CARD FULL RESULTS

Heavyweight – Dean King Def Craig Schmitz Via GnP :31 seconds Round 1

Catchweight – Tyler James Def Ash Oliver Via Gnp :45 Seconds Round 1

Catchweight – Richard Lukacs Def Luke Carroll Via UD

Featherweight – Liam Mackintosh Def Matthew Oliver Via UD

Lightweight – Stas Grucean Def Phil Freeman Via Guillotine 1.00 Round 1

Welterweight – Vladislav Kerchiefon Def JonHunt Via Gnp :57 Round 2

Catchweight – Deakon Thomas Def Rafal Chrzanowski Via GnP 2:35 Round 2

Catchweight – Charmi Sari Def Jacob Tribe Via UD

Middleweight – James Wamsley Def Sam Skidmore Via UD

Middleweight – Adrian Lusiak Def Joe Wood Via UD

Vacant Amateur Light Welterweight Title

Jack Young Def Jamie Wilson Via GnP :38 Seconds Round 1

#NEWAMATUERLIGHTWELTERWEIGHTCHAMPION

Vacant Amateur Welterweight Title

Jordan Little Def Grant Ogborne via UD

#NEWAMATUERWELTERWEIGHTCHAMPION

Pro Card

Welterweight – Jack Dedames Def Will Cairns Via Heel Hook 1:05 Round 1

Welterweight – Rikki “ROCCO” Wyatt Def Craig Allen Via GnP :44 Seconds Round 1

*Vacant Professional Featherweight Title

*Michael “GIP” Cutting vs Stefano “The Ghost” Catacoli

*MIKE CUTTIN WITHDREW FROM THIS BOUT AROUND 30 MINS BEFORE IT WAS SCHEDULED CITING STOMACH PAINS AND WENT TO THE HOSPITAL.

Vacant Professional Heavyweight Title

Romek Sim Def Dante “The Bull” Hawkins Via TKO 1:21 Round 1

#NEWPREOFESSIONAL HEAVYWEIGHTCHAMPION

Official:

Referees: Nathan Webb & Ross Mould

Time Keeper: George Gough

Judges: Dominic Illbury,Gary Patterson & Jason McCauley

MC: Jack Baverstock

Stage Manager: Sean Harper

Medical Team: Gary Eves, Community Paramedics

Analyst: Emma Bramford

Commentary Team: Abdul Patel, Dan Cassell

Cage Checks: Mark Lavington

Front of House Manager: Oz

Promoter: Gary Turland

RAGED UK MMA is back on Friday 10th September 2021


Friday, September, 10th 2021, RAGED UK MMA will be hosting their 13th event back at the MECA, Swindon, where it all began.

Hosting their first live event since March 2020, due to the Covid pandemic Swindon fight, fans are in for a great night of beautiful violence.

For the first time, RAGED UK will also be live on PPV Fightworld TV if you cannot attend the event in person.

Amateur Card

Heavyweight – Craig Schmitz vs Dean King

Catchweight – Ash Oliver vs Tyler James

Catchweight – Richard Lukacs vs Luke Carroll

Featherweight – Matthew Oliver vs Liam Mackintosh

Lightweight – Stas Grucean vs Phil Freeman

Welterweight – Jon Hunt vs Vladislav Kerchief

Catchweight – Deakon Thomas vs Rafal Chrzanowski

Catchweight – Jacob Tribe vs Charmi Sari

Middleweight – James Wamsley vs Sam Skidmore

Middleweight – Adrian Lusiak vs Joe Wood

Vacant Amateur Light Welterweight Title

Jamie Wilson vs Jack Young

Vacant Amateur Welterweight Title

Jordan Little vs Grant Ogborne

Pro Card

Welterweight – Will Cairns vs Jack Dedames

Welterweight – Rikki “ROCCO” Wyatt vs Craig Allen

Vacant Professional Featherweight Title

Michael “GIP” Cutting vs Stefano “The Ghost” Catacoli

Vacant Professional Heavyweight Title

Dante “The Bull” Hawkins vs Romek Sim

*Fightcard/Running order subjet to change at any given time

Doors Open 6pm

“I’m no stepping stone” – Bec Connolly

There is no doubt that at the minute, women’s boxing has taken off, long overdue in my book but then again, I guess women’s boxing is not for everyone; however, on 10 April 2021, that changed and for the better.


There is no doubt that at the minute, women’s boxing has taken off, long overdue in my book but then again, I guess women’s boxing is not for everyone; however, on 10 April 2021, that changed and for the better.

Rewind to 10 years ago, 27-year-old Bec Connolly walked into Paddy Fitzpatrick’s boxing gym in Swindon, Wiltshire, with no prior boxing experience and asked Paddy if he would train her. He did, however, he also took convincing that she was for real and would train hard, as hard as the men; Paddy never gave her any special treatment; in fact, he was harder on her than the men.

After completing her “apprenticeship” in the amateur ranks, Connolly turned pro in September 2017 and “Lady Luck” was born.

You could be forgiven for just looking at Boxrec and seeing the numbers in the Win, Loss and Draw columns, but then again, any pure boxing fan would delve a little deeper into who the opponents were.

Sharing the ring with the likes of Terri Harper, Rachel Ball and Tasha Jonas, to name just a few on Connolly’s resume, regardless of the result, shows just how determined she is to win a boxing title.

“Some may see me as a journeywoman, but that’s not the case. I find that rude. People only look at the record. They don’t look at the quality of the opponents. I am a contender. I’m also not anyone’s stepping stone.”

For the time being, Connolly is concentrating on campaigning for a fight for the vacant Commonwealth title (super bantamweight/featherweight/super featherweight), which the boxing fans also want to see.

“I’ve been asking for the Ebanie Bridges fight since last year, and that’s the fight I’d still like to have.

“It would be an interesting fight because I wouldn’t have to chase her all night as she comes straight forward like I do—a match made in heaven – in boxing terms.  I mean, fans want to see an all-out war in the ring. Bridges bring that, and so do I.”

This brings me back full circle as if you didn’t know 10 April 2021 was the Courtenay vs Bridges fight, which got women’s boxing back on the map, front and centre. 

The Ultimate Fighter Returns! New Episodes Every Week Starting June 1

After a 2 year hiatus The Ultimate Fighter Returns on June 1.


After a 2 year hiatus The Ultimate Fighter Returns on June 1.

The 29th season will feature featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski  and top contender, Brian Ortega as opposing coaches on the show. Both men will be responsible for training 16 of the chosen bantamweight and middleweight prospects in their quest for a UFC contract.

TUF was built for up and coming fighters to jumpstart their careers.

Since its start in 2005, the show has produced 11 champions, with two of them currently reigning at the top of their respective weight classes. Currently, Rose Namajunas and Kamaru Usman hold the belts at the top of their division.

Check out the promo ahead of the first episode to get a look into how season 29 fairs with the other seasons of TUF.

UFC ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP WITH ‘FREETRAIN’ FOR LEON EDWARDS IN HIS UPCOMING FIGHT WITH NATE DIAZ

British athlete Leon Edwards will be using Freetrain products ahead of his blockbuster fight with Nate Diaz next month, June 12, 2021.

Freetrain, the innovative fitness and running brand, are proud to announce UFC fighter Leon Edwards as their next athlete ambassador.


British athlete Leon Edwards will be using Freetrain products ahead of his blockbuster fight with Nate Diaz next month, June 12, 2021

Freetrain, the innovative fitness and running brand, are proud to announce UFC fighter Leon Edwards as their next athlete ambassador.

As part of a new initiative to work with exciting sporting talent, Edwards has signed a partnership with Freetrain to see him use Freetrain products in his training camp to prepare for his next fight against American Nate Diaz on June 12 at UFC 263 in Arizona.

The fight was initially due on UFC 262 but was moved to UFC 263 on June 12 after Diaz suffered an injury. The contest will be the first five-round non-title co-main event in UFC history.

The current Freetrain product range includes the Freetrain V1 Vest and the Freetrain VR Vest, which offers an innovative alternative to phone holder armbands.

29-year-old Edwards, based in Birmingham, is the number-three ranked fighter in the UFC 170lbs Welterweight division and is currently riding an eight-fight win streak.

Edwards will be seeking a high-profile win to add to his record after being forced out of action for over a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. He was then due to fight Khamzat Chimaev on three different occasions, but the fight was then cancelled due to Chimaev’s COVID-19 issues.

Edwards ended up facing Belal Muhammad as a late-notice replacement in March at UFC Fight Night: Edwards vs Muhammad but an accidental eye poke to Muhammad in the second round ended the fight. The bout was ruled a no contest.

Now Leon “Rocky” Edwards moves on from that fight looking to build on an eight-fight win streak (excluding the no contest), and a win over the 36-year-old American Nate Diaz, who hasn’t fought inside the Octagon in almost 18 months, will put him within touching distance of a shot at the 170lbs title.

James Wren, a co-founder of Freetrain, said: “Being based in Birmingham, we’ve followed Leon’s journey closely over the last few years, and we are extremely excited to be partnering with him and helping him as he prepares for the biggest fight of his career.”

He added: “He is one of the most recognisable names in British MMA and is now within touching distance of a title shot and becoming a UFC champion.”

Edwards said: I’ve been a fan of Freetrain for some time now and have been using the V1 for a while, it’s a pretty simple product, but it does the job for me. Teaming up with the guys seemed like a no brainer, both based in Birmingham, so it was as simple as it gets.”

Last month, Freetrain announced their first athlete partnership with British boxer Conor Benn.

To keep up to date with Leon Edwards and to find out more about http://www.freetrain.co.uk/, visit: http://www.freetrain.co.uk

About Freetrain

The Birmingham based fitness company set up by former Aston Villa youth player Jack Dyer and former Walsall FC goalkeeper James Wren. The pair has created an innovative alternative to phone holder armbands to allow fitness enthusiasts to train smart and train free. Since 2015 when the business launched, they have experienced significant growth, increased their product range, and sold over 150,000 units worldwide in 12 different countries. The product range currently includes the Freetrain V1 Vest and the Freetrain VR Vest, along with other running accessories such as rechargeable illuminate LEDs, water-resistant gloves, reflective gloves and therma hats. To find out more about Freetrain, visit: http://www.freetrain.co.uk/

Bellator MMA announces broadcast deal with the BBC


Bellator MMA announce new broadcast deal ahead of Bellator Paris on Saturday, October 10th, 2020.

LONDON – Bellator MMA have today announced a new broadcast deal that will see live MMA broadcast on the BBC for the very first time.

Eleven fights from Bellator’s upcoming Paris show, which takes place on Saturday 10th October at the Accor Arena, will be available live on BBC iPlayer to viewers across the UK. In another first for Bellator, the Paris event will also make history by being the first major MMA event ever hosted in France.

Fights featuring on the BBC will include the highly anticipated welterweight bout between England’s Michael “Venom” Page (17-1), better known to fans as “MVP,” and the undefeated Scotsman Ross Houston (8-0,1 NC). MVP is one of the biggest names in MMA, known for his exciting fighting style and highlights reel of knockouts. Houston, a former MMA world champion, will be looking to make his mark on his Bellator debut.

David Green, Head of Bellator Europe, said; “We are thrilled that we will be bringing live action from our first ever show in France to fans across the UK on BBC iPlayer. The BBC is unparalleled in its reach with millions of people tuning in to its sports content every week. We therefore look forward to servicing our existing fans better than ever before as well as hoping to attracting new fans who will be able to tune in to this historic event. The card is stacked from top to bottom so those watching are in for a real treat come Saturday night.”

Scott Coker, President of Bellator MMA, said; “This is a really exciting broadcast deal for Bellator MMA as our presence in the European market goes from strength to strength. Having just put on three events in Milan and now heading to Paris to make history there, we are committed to providing fight fans across Europe with regular events, featuring the world’s best fighters, which are easily accessible to them via our first-class broadcast partners. We have signed more big names to our roster this week and are looking forward to an action packed 2021.”

The live broadcast starts on BBC iPlayer at 4.30pm BST on Saturday and will run through until 10pm BST.

A limited number of fans will be allowed in attendance at this history-making show. The event got the go ahead after the government granted permission for it to take place under the supervision of the French Boxing Federation. Bellator Paris will be the fourth event hosted by the promotion in Europe in the space of two weeks, following three shows held behind closed doors at Allianz Cloud in Milan, Italy.

Press release.

Raged UK MMA 12 Full Results


chris and lawrence raged 12 champions
Photo Credit: Callum Knowles – Photosbycwk.com

 

Saturday, March 14th, 2020 saw Raged UK MMA hold their twelfth event at the Oasis Leisure Centre in Swindon.

Despite the country going through the coronavirus, it didn’t stop the fans from turning up and showing their support to the athletes.

With a card boasting of 12 bouts, there were some upsets on the night.

Firmly putting Swindon on the map as a  ‘Fight Town’ Raged UK MMA is going from strength to strength, with their next event booked for July 25th, 2020.

Amateur Card

Henry Lovell Def Luke Freeman via Americana 1:26 Rnd 1

Joe Wood Def Szymon Citak via Unanimous Decision 29-28 29-28 29-28

Keiren Williams Def Ashley Gosden via GnP 1:04 Rnd 1

Matt Screen Def Mike Jones via Unanimous Decision 29-28 29-28 29-28

Zana Kalary Def Chris Connolly via KO 2:01 Rnd 1

Dawid Jarowienko Def Svet Ivanchev via DQ (illegal strikes) 1:16 Rnd 2

Welterweight Championship Bout

Liam Shotbolt Def Tom Enstone via KO :16 Rnd 1 #andnew

Welterweight Champion

Middleweight Championship Bout

Rikki Wyatt Def Morgan Jay Lennon via GnP :35 Rnd 1 #andnew

Middleweight Champion

 Professional Card

Mehrdad Janzemin Def Tyler Thomas via Heel Hook 3.32 Rnd 1

Vacant Super Welterweight Championship Bout

Chris Astley Def Thomas Paull via RNC 4.02 Rnd 3 #andnew

Super Welterweight Champion

Welterweight Championship bout

Lawrence Jordan Tracey Def Chris Ogden via KO 3.42 Rnd 1 #andnew

Welterweight Champion

Raged UK MMA 12 returns to Swindon on Saturday, March 14th 2020


raged 12 posterSaturday, March, 14th 2020 RAGED UK MMA will be hosting their 12th event at the Oasis Leisure Centre, in Swindon.

With the success of the last event, you can live stream the action, free, on Facebook page ‘Craziest Sports Fights’ if you cannot make the event in person.

Firmly putting Swindon on the map as a ‘fight town for mixed martial arts’ the promotion has gone from strength to strength with athletes competing from all over the UK.

Not only content with being one of the South West’s most prominent MMA events. Striving to make sure fighter safety comes first, the promotion has added in some new weight categories to bridge the gap between divisions, ensuring that all competitors compete at a weight more suitable for them.

“Adding new weight divisions opens up a more extensive range of fights for matchmaking; however, more importantly, is fighter safety.

“I’ve seen a few injuries along with fighters becoming dehydrated after cutting a lot of weight so as a promotion we are trying to make things safer,” said Gary Turland.

With a card of 13 fights, including five professional bouts and 4 title fights the event is stacked from top to bottom.

Limited tickets are still available from www.raged.uk or at the venue itself which will incur a surcharge of £5 each for paying on the door. (cash accepted on the door).

Ticket prices: Standard £25 (£5 extra on the door)

                          Cageside £40 (£5 extra on the door)

Doors open 5.45pm first fight 6.00pm

Oasis Leisure Centre, North Star Avenue, Swindon, SN2 1EP

Under 18’s must be accompanied by a guardian and only allowed in the balcony area

Please note the venue is CARD PAYMENT ONLY

 

Full fight card*

Amateur Card

Rich Lukacs vs Henry Lovell

Joe Wood vs Szymon Citak

Ashley Gosden vs Keiren Williams

Mike Jones vs Matt Screen

Zana Kalary vs Chris Connolly

Dawid Jarowienko vs Svet Ivanchev

Welterweight Championship

Liam Shotbolt vs Tom Enstone (c)

Vacant Middleweight Championship

Morgan Jay Lennon vs Rikki “Rocco” Wyatt

Professional Card

Nikki Lee vs Hugo “The Unit” Kirkwood

Jake Watkins vs Mark Harris

Tyler Thomas vs Mehrdad Janzemin

Vacant Super Welterweight Championship

Thomas Paull vs Chris Astley

Welterweight Championship

Lawerence Jordan Tracey vs Chris Ogden (c)

*Fight card subject to change

Exclusive: “I’m going to win the light heavyweight belt, and then I will move up and win the heavyweight belt” – Johnny Walker


Johnny Walker Credit:Fighters Only
Johnny Walker Credit: Fighters Only

 

Originally posted on 30th October 2019

The 14th December 2013 is a date that will be forever ingrained in Johnny Walker’s brain.  It was that day that Johnny had his first-ever professional mixed martial arts contest at the age of 22, in the heavyweight division. Having had no previous amateur fights, the fight only lasted :49 seconds in round one and Johnny won via TKO, something that he would be doing later throughout his career thus far.

Johnny fought another ten times at heavyweight in Brazil with a combined record of 8-3 before moving down to Light Heavyweight in March 2017, where he had another two fights before relocating to Aberdeen in Scotland in December 2017 for a year.

Johnny had grown up in Brazil all his life, until at the age of 25, he moved across the world to Aberdeen, for an exciting opportunity to help further his MMA career on a global scale.

It was, in fact, Johnny’s coach Leo Gosling who got a proposal/job offer from a businessman in Aberdeen, to go and teach classes in mixed martial arts. Leo stated he would only accept the invite if it included bringing Johnny over too.   When Leo and Johnny arrived, they soon realised that it was all a big lie and that the gym owner was broke, which resulted in Leo and Johnny receiving no payment.

These were tough times for Leo and Johnny having travelled from Brazil to Scotland, and now, having no money to live on, their only option was to sleep on gym floors.  However, both Leo and Johnny stayed positive and focused on the bigger picture, and Leo managed to get Johnny 3 fights in a month, which not only started to make a name for Johnny on the UK MMA scene (Johnny won the UCMMA light heavyweight title, Feb 2018) but also gave them the much-needed money to survive and progress in the MMA scene.

It wasn’t long after Johnny won his next three fights that he decided to try out for season 2 of ‘Dana White’s contender series in Brazil’ which was held on August 11th, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This was Johnny’s chance to prove to Dana White that after all the hard work he had put in since 2013, he belonged in the world’s number one promotion. The ‘UFC’.

On Fight Night, Johnny was scheduled to meet Henrique da Silva and was looking forward to showcasing his skills. However, during his warm-up Johnny was physically sick and had a fever.  He also got tired within three minutes of warming up, so he chose to stop and conserve his energy for the bout against Henrique.

Johnny went the whole three rounds with Henrique, in which he won every round on the scorecards.  This was the only fight thus far that Johnny had left it in the hands of the judges. He won via unanimous decision. “It was a great experience even though I was sick, and I couldn’t make it my best performance,” Johnny said afterwards. “It was the first time that any of my fights have gone to the judges’ scorecards”.

That performance impressed Dana White so much that he rewarded Johnny with a UFC contract.

After that victory, Johnny moved to Southampton, England to train with his coach Leo Gosling, where he met female UK fighter and mum of two Bryony Tyrell.  At the time, Bryony part-owned Exile MMA Central, Southampton, and later went on to train with Leo and Johnny in Thailand at Johnny’s gym called ‘Walker MMA’, while preparing for her Bellator debut on 22nd June 2019.  They formed a great bond with each other that still exists today.

Born Walker Johnny Barra Silva de Souza on March 30th, 1992 in Tingua, Rio de Janeiro, Johnny, his brother Valter and his parents, relocated to Rio das Ostras when he was a teenager, where he lived until he was 25 years old.

Rio das Ostras was a cool place to grow up. The city used to be very safe back then.  Johnny would frequently go play out in the street or visit the beach a lot.  Unfortunately, as with many children today, some of the kids at school were mean, and for a while, Johnny got bullied for being so tall and skinny.

At 15 years old, Johnny took up one of his first loves, dancing, RIP rop, and Lamaerobica, (which is a Brazilian style of dance), — gradually moving onto lifting weights.  Then he moved onto Muay Thai, which he fell in love with after his first lesson.

After leaving school, Johnny started studying Chemistry Engineering but decided that he wanted to follow his dream of becoming a world champion mixed martial arts athlete. After being introduced to Leo Gosling at Leo’s gym, Johnny was offered a scholarship to train in Brazilian Jiujitsu, and Leo invited Johnny to train in MMA as well.

With the mentorship of Leo fully formed, and an incredible bond, even when Leo went to London for a year, Johnny trained at Team Evolucao in the South of Brazil. They then reunited to carry on with their close coach/manager bond that they established.

Starting his MMA career off in the heavyweight division, Johnny knew that weight class was not for him. So, he dropped down to light heavyweight, where the 6ft 5 Brazilian has found great success in the 205lb weight class.

Since being signed to the UFC in 2018, Johnny has had three fights with all of them ending with a first-round win, and a total combined time of 2 minutes 48 seconds in the octagon, gaining three “fight of the night” bonuses while in the process. “Starting my career in the heavyweight division and now in the light heavyweight division, I’m going to win the light heavyweight belt. Then, I will move up and win the heavyweight belt” stated Johnny while we were on the subject on whether he will make a return to the heavyweight division.

If you’re familiar with Johnny Walker, then you will know that after every win in the octagon, Johnny, celebrates by doing a version of what he calls ‘the worm’. However, the last time Johnny did his celebratory ‘worm’, he dislocated his shoulder just before having his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan.  He then had to have surgery, and this kept him out of competitive action for four months while his shoulder was healing.

“My shoulder is 100% recovered now. I had surgery and have been rehabbing it, and I’m good to go.  I will have to look for a new celebration to do when I win as my mum won’t let me do ‘The Worm’ anymore lol,” Johnny says laughing.

Having had six months out of the octagon to rehab his shoulder injury, it has given Johnny plenty of time to spend time with his two dog’s – Pitbull’s named ‘Yoga’, who is the female, and ‘Tanus’, the male.  This has given them plenty of time to go down to the beach to chill as well as playing video games.  Which at the moment is ‘Call of Duty 4’ online.  “I haven’t had time to play the new Call of Duty Modern Warfare yet!”. As well as visiting other gyms to get some more experience, as you can never have enough skills, Johnny has recently come back from spending three weeks at SBG Ireland.

Johnny (17-3), ranked #11 will be facing Corey Anderson (12-4), ranked #7, (according to UFC rankings) on Saturday, November 2nd at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY, at UFC 244.

Looking at these two athletes on paper the only similarities (which are small) is that Johnny is 6ft 5 inches and has an 82-inch reach, whereas Anderson is 6ft 3 inches and has a 79-inch reach.

Anderson is on a three-fight winning streak, all coming by way of decision. In fact, all his fights bar 4 have come by leaving it in the hands of the judges. On the other hand, Johnny is on a nine-fight winning streak, with only one of those wins coming by way of decision back in 2016.  That is the only one so far on his overall career record. The rest of his wins have come by way of T/KO and two submissions, with all of those T/KO’s happened in the first round one and one coming in the second round.

With a win over Corey Anderson on Saturday, November 2nd, it should put him in the top #6 of the light heavyweight division.  The question everyone will be asking is, who is next for him? Will he be in title contention to fight the current champion Jon Jones?, Or will it be someone in the top 5? “I’m not bothered by who my next opponent is, I want to fight as soon as possible, within three weeks would be ideal, in Washington, DC, on 7th December.  If not then, then UFC 245 in Vegas on 14th December.”

UFC 244 takes place on Saturday, November 2nd, live from Madison Square Garden, New York, NY.

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