TORONTO — Canadian light-heavyweight Misha Cirkunov has a new opponent at UFC 235.
English-based Brazilian Johnny Walker is stepping in for the injured Ovince Saint Preux on the March 2 card in Las Vegas.
The main event pits light-heavyweight champion Jon (Bones) Jones (23-1-0) against No. 3 contender Anthony (Lionheart) Smith (31-13-0).
The 26-year-old Walker (13-3-0) has won all three of his UFC bouts to date, needing just 15 seconds last time out to dispose of Justin Ledet with a spinning back fist. The six-foot-five Walker has 11 first-round finishes in all.
Walker has won performance of the night bonuses in his last two fights.
Cirkunov (14-4-0) is ranked No. 14 among light-heavyweight contenders while Walker is No. 15. Saint Preux stands 12th.
The six-foot-three Cirkunov is coming off a first-round submission win over Patrick Cummings in October in Moncton, N.B. The 31-year-old Toronto fighter had lost his two previous bouts — against elite opposition in Glover Teixeira and Volkan (No Time) Oezdemir — after winning his first four UFC fights.
Both Teixeira and Oezdemir have fought for the UFC's 205-pound title and lost.
The Canadian Press