At what was a UFC 294 pay-per-view event that certainly included highs and lows, not many fitted into the latter category quite like the main card light heavyweight clash between Magomed Ankalaev and Johnny Walker.
When the pair made the walk inside Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Arena this past weekend, both were looking to stake their claim for a shot at gold against the winner of next month’s vacant championship bout between Jiří Procházka and Alex Pereira.
Unfortunately, neither Ankalaev nor Walker exited the cage any closer to the title after their contest ended in a disappointing no contest. The result came about after the Russian contender launched an illegal knee at the head of his Brazilian opponent while he was on one knee against the fence.
Despite Walker appearing eager to continue, the doctor ultimately wasn’t satisfied with his condition and called the fight off. While that remains a sour taste for the #7-ranked light heavyweight, he’s also less than pleased with the verdict that followed.
Walker Insists ‘Intentional’ Ankalaev Knee Warranted DQ
After the fight was waved off and the two competitors almost came to blows in a brawl, Bruce Buffer read out the official result, which was ruled a ‘no contest’ by referee Dan Movahedi.
That, however, has left Walker confused. Insisting that Ankalaev’s illegal strike was clearly “intentional” during an appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, the Brazilian pointed to another instance when such a moment led to a disqualification.
“I’m more disappointed also because it happened the same thing with Aljamain (Sterling). He became a champ off a knee like that,” Walker said. “I don’t wanna become champ, but maybe could take points off him and the fight continues, or maybe disqualify him or whatever as well. It’s an illegal shot. He could put me out, bro! A very illegal shot. I could have damage in my brain or something.
“In the fight, everything you throw is intentional. Nobody said, ‘Oh, I slipped and there’s the knee.’ No, he had the position and threw (it),” Walker continued. “It was intentional. His brain gave the command. Like, what the f*ck?”
Aljamain Sterling had gold wrapped around his waist in bizarre circumstances back in March 2021, with an illegal knee from Petr Yan resulting in his disqualification and an unceremonious end to his bantamweight title reign.
With that in mind, Walker and plenty of others in the mixed martial arts community have questioned why Ankalaev’s knee was treated differently this past weekend in the UAE.
Why should I follow a rule that has no punishment if I break it? If he can do illegal things to take advantage. Then I can too & get a NC next time. so we are ok to kick balls ⚽️ and punch behind neck and spine too , if you kill somebody, no worries. It’s just no contest
— Johnny Walker (@JohnnyWalker) October 23, 2023
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