Wish granted: Johnny Walker gets short-notice fight vs. Misha Cirkunov at UFC 235
After Ovince Saint Preux (23-12 MMA, 11-7 UFC) was forced out of his scheduled light heavyweight matchup with Cirkunov (14-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) due to an injury, Walker (16-3 MMA, 2-0 UFC) will now step in and get the fight he lobbied for.
MMAjunkie verified the change with a person close to the situation following an initial report from MMAFighting.com. The person requested anonymity because the UFC has yet to make an official fight announcement.
UFC 235 takes place March 2 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and UFC Fight Pass.
Cirkunov currently is No. 14 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA light heavyweight rankings. He last saw action this past October when he picked up a first-round submission win over Patrick Cummins. The much-needed result snapped a two-fight skid for Cirkunov, who had been handed defeats by Glover Teixeira and Volkan Oezdemir.
Walker is looking to continue his climb up the rankings after making a splash since his UFC debut in November. The Brazilian has picked up consecutive knockout wins in a combined total of just over two minutes, with Walker’s most recent performance being a 15-second TKO of Justin Ledet at UFC on ESPN+ 2 this month.
He will be making a one-month turnaround from his win over Ledet.
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)Champ Jon Jones vs. Anthony Smith – for light heavyweight title Champ Tyron Woodley vs. Kamaru Usman – for welterweight title Ben Askren vs. Robbie Lawler Tecia Torres vs. Weili Zhang Cody Garbrandt vs. Pedro Munhoz
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET)Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Jeremy Stephens Misha Cirkunov vs. Johnny Walker Alejandro Perez vs. Cody Stamann Mickey Gall vs. Diego Sanchez
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:15 p.m. ET)Charles Byrd vs. Edmen Shahbazyan Macy Chiasson vs. Gina Mazany Frankie Saenz vs. Marlon Vera Hannah Cifers vs. Polyana Viana
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