When an MMA fight offers 25 minutes of quality kickboxing outsmarting, it can often be interesting, commendable, and exciting. But when this is done by fighters known for knockouts, from whom you expected a handful of action and it was believed that the chances of the fight going through all five rounds are small, we are left with a bitter or at least a little strange taste.
So it certainly was after the fight between Thiago Santos and Johnny Walker, which led the UFC Fight Night 193 event. Exactly as mentioned above the last night fight looked like. Lots of movement, feints and looking for a punch that would make something more concrete or at least convince the referees of their own advantage.
Technically it looked really good, no doubt interesting, but again something was missing, something you expect when you see which two fighters are in question. Walker was the one who opened better and who tried harder in the first five minutes, but even then it was clear that caution would come first here.
Santos got involved better in the second round, hitting a couple of shots that had a positive effect on the referees. Similarly, the former challenger continued in the third round, while in the fourth, his opponent had more specific hits.
We waited for the 5th round. And there we finally saw some real action. Santos hit a shot in the opening minutes that would have knocked down many, probably the "old" Walker, but this time Johnny stayed on his feet and tried to find his answer.
Before the situation calmed down again, we saw several exchanges in which Santos certainly left a better impression, and apparently kept it until the end as he took the win by unanimous decision of the referee. In a fight where it was most important for both of them to avoid defeat, Thiago Santos did more, but he has to praise Walker, who has unquestionably matured as a fighter in the Irish SBG and whose best performances could yet follow.
For Santos, this was also his last appearance on the current contract, and with the victory, he will probably win better conditions for a new one. We have no doubt the UFC intends to leave him in their ranks, especially after he finally broke his negative streak. Walker has confirmed that he is the fighter we want to see in the future. He is obviously very talented