Rising light heavyweight star Johnny Walker has been cleared to compete following shoulder surgery.
The fighter’s manager, Lucas Lutkus, told ESPN that Walker is targeting a September return against a ranked opponent. Walker injured his shoulder during a post-fight celebration following a first-round TKO of Misha Cirkunov at UFC 235 on March 2.
"A top-10 fighter is what we have been talking with the UFC about," Lutkus said. "He is No. 10 [in the UFC rankings] now with [Alexander] Gustafsson and [Jimi] Manuwa retired, so it is what makes sense.
"Honestly, Johnny will take on any name offered. Be it a vet like Glover [Teixeira] or a prospect like [Dominick] Reyes or [Aleksander] Rakic, he loves every possibility of matchup.”
Walker is 3-0 in the UFC after competing on the Brazilian edition of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. In addition to Cirkunov, the 27-year-old Brazilian has also authored first-round finishes of Justin Ledet and Khalil Rountree in the Octagon.