UFC 294, Magomed Ankalaev, Johnny Walker

Magomed Ankalaev vs Johnny Walker slated for UFC 294

It appears Magomed Ankalaev (18-1-1) won’t be fighting for the UFC light-heavyweight championship in his next fight after all, as he’s just been booked to return at UFC 294 opposing no. 7 ranked Johnny Walker (21-7).

UFC 294 is to go down on October 21, 2023, live from the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The no. 2 ranked Russian contender most recently fought at UFC 282, where he battled to a draw against former champion Jan Blachowicz in a vacant title bout. Going into that fight he’d won his last nine-straight following defeat to Paul Craig in his UFC debut.

During that time Ankalaev defeated the likes of Ion Cutelaba twice (TKO, KO), Nikita Krylov (UD), and former title challengers Volkan Oezdemir (UD), Thiago Santos (UD), and Anthony Smith (TKO).

Now getting into Johnny Walker:

Following a spectacular 3-0 span to begin his UFC tenure, all three wins coming via first round knockout, Walker then went 1-4 over his next five contests. Most people thought the hype train had been derailed by that point.

However, with this recent resurgence Walker’s had he comes into this fight off three-straight wins over Ion Cutelaba (rear naked choke), Paul Craig (TKO), and Anthony Smith (UD).

Interesting each of them have fought those three opponents.

And interestingly enough, their common opponents don’t stop there.

Walker, like Ankalaev also fought Nikita Krylov, losing a unanimous decision to him back in March of 2020. Ankalaev, as mentioned above, defeated Thiago Santos over the course of five rounds in March of 2022, while Walker lost a five round unanimous decision to him a few months prior in October of 2021.

Ankalaev also defeated Klidson Abreu (UD) in February of 2019 inside the UFC, while Walker lost to him on the Brazilian regional scene via submission (rear naked choke) in October of 2015.

And lastly, these two have one more name in common, Wagner Prado.

First Walker lost to Prado (TKO) in November of 2014 in just the fourth fight of his professional career, before Ankalaev KO’d the Brazilian nearly three years later in June of 2017 on the Russian regional scene.

Who comes out on top in this light-heavyweight bout going down at UFC 294?

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