Johnny Walker asked, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship granted his request.
After offering to step in for the injured Ovince St. Preux at UFC 235 on social media, Walker has been booked to face Misha Cirkunov at the March 2 event. MMAFighting.com was first to report the new light heavyweight booking. UFC 235 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and is headlined by a light heavyweight title clash between Jon Jones and Anthony Smith. In the co-main event, Tyron Woodley defends the welterweight crown against Kamaru Usman.
Walker generated some buzz at UFC Fight Night 144, where he dropped Justin Ledet with a spinning back fist and finished him with follow-up punches in just 15 seconds on Feb. 2. That win came on the heels of Walker’s elbow knockout of Khalil Rountree at UFC Fight Night 140 this past November. Those back-to-back victories have made Walker one of the most talked about new talents in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. The 26-year-old Brazilian owns a 16-3 professional record that includes 13 triumphs by KO or TKO.
Cirkunov halted a two-bout skid in his last outing, as he submitted Patrick Cummins with an arm-triangle choke 2:40 into the opening round of their encounter at UFC Fight Night 138. The 31-year-old Latvian fighter is 5-2 during his promotional tenure and 14-4 as a professional overall.