At UFC 244, light heavyweight prospect Johnny Walker suffered the first defeat of his career under the Las Vegas-based mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion’s banner. He was TKO’d by Corey Anderson on the featured preliminary bout of the evening.
However, according to former UFC welterweight title challenger Dan Hardy, Walker was talking quite a bit of trash before the fight started. He had this to share during a segment on BT Sport.
“So, with the secret service locking the place down when the President was there, they had to bring the fighters out of their dressing rooms early. So you’ve got Johnny Walker and his team, and Corey Anderson and his team, in the same corridor.
“And for five or ten minutes, all the time before the fight, Johnny Walker is going ‘Corey, I’m going to knock you out, I’m going to knock you out.’ So basically he was marinating in this annoyance for about five or ten minutes before.”
Walker took to Instagram to respond to Hardy’s story, claiming that it never happened. The Brazilian said he uses his pre-fight moments to focus on concentration, and would figure a former fighter such as Hardy would understand that himself.
“Hey @danhardymma , get your facts checked before saying stuff that is not true. I did not taunt Corey Anderson at all in the backstage before the fight and would NEVER do such thing. I know that moments like those, specially before the fight, are for focus and concentration.
“I really expected that a guy like you, who has been a fighter for many years, would ask me if this is true instead of just talking shit about me and painting a picture of me of a person that I am not. @coreya_mma @ricardoalmeidabjj you can come here confirm to Dan and the whole world how we were quiet and focused while waiting for our battle. Congrats and I will be cheering for you in the future.”
Even Anderson, who commented on Walker’s post, backed Walker up by saying that the Brazilian never told him anything in the tunnel before the fight. However, it was a fan behind Walker who was talking trash.
“Johnny didn’t say anything to me in the tunnel. It was a fan behind him on the other side of the curtain screaming that for 5-10. Thank you again for the battle warrior”
Hardy offered the following response to Walker’s post on Twitter.
“The fact that you do taunt people, as you did when Corey pinged you with that first punch, makes it all the more believable. If you didn’t, then I apologize for sharing false information. I had no reason to believe it wasn’t true at the time though.”
What do you make of the back-and-forth between Walker and Hardy?