Johnny Walker and Ion Cutelaba, UFC 279
Johnny Walker and Ion Cutelaba, UFC 279 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Energetic light heavyweights Johnny Walker and Ion Cutelaba traded takedowns, but Walker made his count with a submission victory on the main card of UFC 279.

Light heavyweight wrecking machines Johnny Walker and Ion Cutelaba kicked off Saturday’s UFC 279 Pay-Per-View card. Walker came in with losses in four of his last five fights, including a first-round knockout loss in his last contest. Cutelaba, like Walker, had just one win in his last five fights.

Cutelaba went to a low kick, then followed with a high kick, both of which were defended. Walker answered with a kick of his own but Cutelaba caught it and quickly put Walker on his back. Cutelaba postured up twice and was unable to generate offense. Walker bucked Cutelaba off of him and hopped on his opponent’s back on the way up. Getting both feet on the ground, Walker lifted and slammed Cutelaba. Walker began working for a rear-naked choke, but Cutelaba defended well. Walker stayed on his back and kept working. Walker eventually got an arm under the chin, but not at the cleanest angle. Cutelaba tried fighting the hands but the squeeze of Walker was simply too strong. The tap came and Walker got a quick and much-needed victory.

Walker expressed how hard he has been working to get back in the win column as he’s now on the path to return to the early potential he showed when he first signed with the promotion.

Johnny Walker def. Ion Cutelaba by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) in Round 1 (4:37)





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