Johnny Walker hasn’t competed inside the cage since March, and it’s bothering him.
The 27-year-old light heavyweight was last seen finishing Misha Cirkunov via flying knee and punches at UFC 235. Moments later, Walker attempted his signature worm celebration. Instead of getting a few laughs, Walker sustained a shoulder injury that required surgery.
Four months later, Walker is slowly but surely integrating himself back into his usual training schedule but isn’t in a regiment quite yet.
Saturday night at UFC 239 in Las Vegas, Walker took some time to update reporters on his situation and when he’d like to return. Walker vented his aggravation with the healing process and the lengthy recovery following surgery.
“I can’t wait to come back,” Walker said. “(It’s been) more than four months. (For) two months, I 100 percent stopped after my surgery to recover my shoulder. Now I started training again, and I can beat some heavy bags and lift weights, start to train properly. The (first) two months after my surgery (were) the worst months of my life, because I could do nothing. …
“‘Cause I was born for this. I feel so great when I train hard, when I have fights coming up. This is good motivation. Then I stopped myself. I feel so sad. This is frustrating.”
Just because the celebration knocked him out of action for months, don’t expect Walker to nix “the worm” anytime soon. Despite persuasion from UFC president Dana White, Walker said he’s not planning on quitting the dance.
“I don’t need to change my celebration,” Walker said. “The doctor fixed my shoulder. Now I can celebrate it properly. (Dana) told (me to stop), but I won’t hurt myself again. No worries.”
While he’s not sure when he’ll be fully healed to return, Walker has an opponent and date in mind. The fight, if it was to happen, could potentially have title shot implications.
“I would like to fight on UFC Abu Dhabi,” Walker said. “I will know Monday after the UFC. Monday, I’ll know where I’ll be fighting (and) against who. Maybe Corey Anderson in UFC Abu Dhabi, but it’s not 100 percent.”
For more on upcoming UFC events, check out the UFC schedule.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Despite recent surgery, Johnny Walker will keep celebrating with the 'worm'