After Dana White’s Public Diss, Adamant Johnny Walker Stands His Ground Over Anthony Smith Performance – “I Could Have Knocked Out”

Published 05/30/2023, 2:42 AM EDT

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UFC light heavyweight star Johnny Walker had a statement win a few weeks ago at UFC Charlotte. The Brazilian beat former title challenger Anthony Smith in the co-main event of the card. Walker went the distance with Smith and put on a dominant performance. Contrary to his early style, Walker was patient and precise with his game and earned the victory.

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However, this approach did not sit well with Dana White, who criticized him after the event. White congratulated Walker for the win but did not appreciate him not going for the finish.

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Now, the 31-year-old has responded to White’s criticisms and explained his approach to the Anthony Smith fight.

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Johnny Walker responds to Dana White

In a recent interview, Johnny Walker looked back at this UFC Charlotte performance. The Brazilian explained his decision to go the distance as he responded to White’s criticisms.

He said, “I could have knocked [Anthony Smith] out if I had pushed the pace a bit more. I could have ended it, yeah, but I guess I didn’t want to end it.” He continued, “I was enjoying it. I wanted to see what he could offer me. He didn’t have anything left to offer me.”

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He finally added, “So I should have finished him in the third. But I only had seconds left. I should have woken up like, ‘ I guess it’s enough, but time was up and I couldn’t finish him.”

With the win, Walker has now won three in a row and sits at the #5 spot in the 205 lbs rankings. A title shot might be on the horizon for him if he keeps his current form going.

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However. he might have to impress his boss a bit more if that is to be the case.

What did Dana White say about Smith vs. Walker?

Dana White does not like it when fighters do not take reasonable risks. He felt the same during the fight between Anthony Smith and Johnny Walker. Despite getting multiple knockdowns and having Smith in trouble, Walker did not chase a finish. This did not sit well with the UFC head honcho, who made it clear during the post-fight press conference.

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White said, “Walker didn’t really wow anybody tonight, but he won.” He continued, “Obviously he’s in there with a very durable, tough guy and a dangerous guy in Smith, But Smith got dropped, was hurt in the first round, and then his leg was gone, and Johnny never went for the finish. Never tried to finish the fight. Just tried to fight safe and get the win.”

Do you think White’s criticisms were just? Do you think Walker should have gone for the finish? Or did he make the right call fighting a smart fight? How soon would you like to see him fight for the title?

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Written by:

Yeswanth Praveen

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Yeswanth Praveen is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports, having written over 500 articles on the sport. With a Master’s degree in English Literature, Yeswanth expertly combines his writing and storytelling skills with his passion for MMA. He was initially drawn to the sport after the intense rivalry between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov captured his attention.
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Edited by:

Rohini Kottu

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