GENERICO.ruSport“Get ready for war”: the Russian will punish the “malingerer” at the first show of the year in the...

“Get ready for war”: the Russian will punish the “malingerer” at the first show of the year in the UFC

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will be held this weekend in Las Vegas is the first tournament of the new year. The main event of the evening will feature a promising rematch between Russian Magomed Ankalaev and Brazilian Johnny Walker, whose first meeting in the octagon ended in scandal and further “promoted” what had become a personal confrontation between top light heavyweights.
UFC Fight Night: Ankalaev vs Walker II

  • When: January 13 (on the night of the 14th Moscow time);
  • Where: UFC Apex Arena, Las Vegas (Nevada, USA);
  • What time: the tournament will start at 00:00 Moscow time, the main card will start at 03:00 Moscow time. The fight between Ankalaev and Walker will begin after 04:30 Moscow time;
  • Where to watch: the online broadcast will be available on the official UFC Fight Pass service. On television the broadcast will begin at 03:00 Moscow time;
  • The weight of the fighters: Ankalaev showed on the scales 92.76 kg, Walker – 93.21 kg;
  • Coefficients: 1.1 versus 5.3, the Russian MMA fighter has a total advantage on paper.

October's UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi became one of the most high-profile events of 2023. Lots of great finishes, Khamzat Chimaev's intense fight against former champion Kamaru Usman and Islam Makhachev's dominant victory over Alexander Volkanovski in his second title defense. Thanks to this triumph, the Russian not only put an end to the confrontation with the Australian, but also became the best fighter of the promotion, regardless of weight categories (P4P).

It is not surprising that the events of the third most important fight of the evening faded into the background .

Ankalaev and Walker immediately started a fire in the cage. In the first round, the Russian took the initiative, but miraculously did not miss a knee to the head: the Brazilian pretended to be shocked and almost caught the revealed favorite. Then the fight went into a clinch, in which the Dagestani made a gross mistake, which deprived Petr Yan of the title in March 2021. Ankalaev struck an illegal knee blow to the head of his opponent, who was in a “grounded” position (more than two points of support), after which the referee stopped the fight and called doctors into the cage.
Then strange things happened. Walker seemed ready to continue the fight, but in response to the follow-up question, “Where are you now?” answered “Somewhere in the desert,” which indicated to specialists a serious concussion. The fight was declared invalid – Walker jumped around the octagon and rushed at his opponent, after which the security service had to prevent the brawl, and even the head of the UFC, Dana White, came into the cage to calm the light heavyweights.

The latter later admits that the doctor was inexperienced and made a mistake when he interrupted the confrontation.

The Russian was unrecognizable after the fight. One of the most modest fighters on the roster was furious at Walker’s behavior and immediately criticized the Brazilian. In addition to accusations of simulation and “leaking” from the fight, Ankalaev, who has not lost 11 fights (since September 2018), even promised to deal with Johnny on the street. But you can find advantages in the current situation: Walker did not receive serious injuries, and after three months an angry Ankalaev will be able to get even with his opponent.

"My next fight will be the best. I'll stop this guy within three rounds. Johnny, get ready for war. And please, don’t give up.”

Magomed Ankalaev

One can understand Ankalaev’s indignation. Despite an impressive unbeaten streak, he has been marking time for two fights in a row and has not improved his position in the title race. In December 2022, Magomed fought for the belt against ex-champion Jan Blachowicz and, as it seemed to most, he defeated the Pole. However, the judges recorded a draw after five rounds – Jamal Hill took the vacant title, and then, after the American’s injury, Brazilian Alex Pereira sat on the throne.

There will be no chance of a misfire next weekend. To get close to the title, Ankalaev must run over Walker and make a loud statement. The main thing is to avoid underestimating the Brazilian and not to give in to emotions in the cage—Johnny, who turned on the trash talk, is seriously counting on this.

"I can’t wait to beat Ankalaev… When I make him pay. This is a kind of revenge for me, my little revenge for his illegal blow in Abu Dhabi. You can't accidentally knee your opponent in the face. So I'll get to it. I will take revenge!” (The Schmo)

Johnny Walker

The author’s opinion may not coincide with the editorial position
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