Despite being a Brazilian, light heavyweight prospect Johnny Walker had different plans concerning his UFC kit ahead of his upcoming UFC Fortaleza bout against Justin Ledet. In an interview with Combate, the 26-year-old revealed he actually wanted to wear the colors of Thailand for his next Octagon appearance, a country where he spent some of his training camp for the bout.
A Muay Thai specialist with a highlight reel standing elbow KO in his UFC debut, Walker defeated Khalil Rountree in that fight, but, again, he chose not to wear the colors of his home country. Instead, Johnny walked to the Octagon in the colors of the United Kingdom. The way Walker puts his choices is simple, he considers himself a citizen of the world.
“I’d like to (defend the colors of Thailand), but I guess it wasn’t authorized, so I’ll defend Brazil’s,” Walker said. “I think Thailand didn’t answer, but it’s all cool. In fact, I represent the entire world, I don’t have a flag. I’m a patriot, I love Brazil, but if I can show a little bit of the world to the world, I will.”
According to Combate, there was no time for Reebok to get in touch with Thailand’s government to get the nod for Walker, however he did get approval from the United Kingdom, but ultimately decided to go with his home country.
“I also chose Thailand because their weather is similar to Brazil’s, so I’d be used to it,” Walker said. “If I come from England to Brazil, I could feel the difference a little too much and I’d get tired faster. It’s a wonderful, beautiful place, their culture is so different. I didn’t learn much of the language, which is really difficult, but food is cheap and people are polite. You can go to a restaurant and leave the keys in your motorcycle and nobody will take them. I felt at home. So much so that I’m moving there. I’ll be staying for six months and see how I adapt.”
Johnny Walker is expected to take on Justin Ledet on the main card of UFC Fight Night 144, in Fortaleza, Brazil, on February 2. The card will be headlined by a bantamweight bout between contenders Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes.
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