Sometimes, the use of social media can bring about a fight. And sometimes, that fight is sanctioned and regulated by a state athletic commission.
UFC light heavyweights Corey Anderson and Johnny Walker went back and forth on Twitter last week, in a relatively gentlemanly manner, and now the two will fight one another at UFC 244 in Madison Square Garden on Nov. 2. ESPN first reported the booking early Monday afternoon, with the UFC making it official several hours later.
"Wanted to dethrone the "King", they want me to derail a train," Anderson tweeted last week. "#JohnnyWalker thinks he's ready for the big leagues, time to roll out the red carpet. You want the sauce?! Meet me in the land of opportunity, NYC, MSG, Nov 2nd."
Walker responded the next day, "Let's dance together, and have a little fun, LHW needs a new king."
Of course, that "king" is Jon Jones, the reigning UFC light heavyweight champion. But in Anderson vs. Walker, the fight represents who could emerge as a legitimate and new opponent for Jones in the coming year or so. Anderson (12-4) is the No. 8 ranked light heavyweight in the UFC and a winner of three fights in a row, all by unanimous decision. Anderson, who trains under Mark Henry and Ricardo Almeida in New Jersey, last fought in December, when he beat Ilir Latifi.
Walker (17-3), the No. 12 light heavyweight, has nine straight wins, including his fight on Dana White's "Contender" series in the summer of 2018. His three fights in the UFC, from last November to March, all ended in first-round knockouts, including most recently against Misha Cirkunov at UFC 235. In celebrating that 38-second win by flying knee, Walker dislocated his shoulder when he flopped to the ground to begin his signature worm celebration.
No main event for UFC 244 has been announced yet.
UFC 244 fight card so far
(based on fights made official by the UFC)
Heavyweight: Derrick Lewis vs. Blagoy Ivanov
Light heavyweight: Corey Anderson vs. Johnny Walker