Light heavyweight Johnny Walker is at a crossroads. On one hand, he wishes to be the one to finally dethrone champion Jon Jones, but on the other, he just can’t bring himself to root against fellow countryman Thiago Santos, who is scheduled to take on ‘Bones’ at UFC 239, on July 6.
In an interview with Portal do Vale Tudo, Walker believes he is ready to defeat Jones immediately, but understands his place in the rankings and is willing to climb the spots until he is inarguably the number one contender.
“I’m ready to beat Jon Jones now. But I’ll accept anyone they put in front of me. I would prefer someone in the top 5 or top 10. I’m number 12, so I’ll take anyone who’s above me. I want to beat Jones, but it has to be slowly. I don’t want to get ahead of anyone, there are people more deserving than me, I have a lot of work to show, but I’ll conquer it all slowly.”
Despite his wishes to defeat Jones himself, Walker does admit he will cheer for Santos to get the job done and even believes Thiago has a good chance of besting the champion, especially by way of knockout.
“Marreta has a big chance, he is heavy-handed. He’s Brazilian, I root for him, I’m a patriot of course. But I didn’t want him to win because I want to make history, I want to beat Jon Jones. So I’m torn.”
Still undefeated in his UFC career, Johnny Walker disposed of all of his opponents by way of first-round knockout, defeating the likes of Khalil Rountree, Justin Ledet and most recently, in March, Misha Cirkunov.