Thiago Santos vs Johnny Walker
October 2, 2021 11:45 pm EDT
The Line: Johnny Walker +135 / Thiago Santos -155
(Click here for latest betting odds)
Thiago Santos and Johnny Walker fight Saturday in UFC Fight Night 193 at the UFC Apex. Santos enters this fight with a 21-9 record and has won 71 percent of his fights by knockout. Walker enters this fight with a 18-5 record and has won 83 percent of his fights by knockout.
Santos has split his last eight fights and is coming off a March loss to Aleksandar Rakić. Santos is averaging 4.27 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 48 percent. Santos is averaging 0.70 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 38 percent. Santos is coming off a decision loss at UFC 259 where he landed 61 total strikes and ate 50 total strikes. Santos is now riding a three-game losing streak and hasn’t won a fight since UFC Fight Night 145. At almost 38 years old, it’s key Santos gets out of this funk if he hopes to keep landing on these big cards. There’s no secrets when it comes to Santos, as he’s pure knockout power and wants a fight standing up where he can unload and drop his opponent. While a black belt in Muay Thai and BJJ, Santos doesn’t tap into his ground game often and rarely even attempts a takedown. Santos is throwing bombs and eight of his last nine wins have been knockouts. Santos will also throw in some strong body kicks and has produced multiple knockouts with his legs. This will be Santos’ ninth career fight in Nevada.
Walker has won six of his last eight fights and is coming off a September (2020) win over Ryan Spann. Walker is averaging 4.41 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 72 percent. Walker is averaging 0.40 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 100 percent. Walker is coming off a knockout win at UFC Fight Night 178 where he landed some violent elbows and snapped back-to-back losses. Walker will now fight for the first time in over a year, which is his longest layoff since turning pro in 2013. Walker throws everything hard with great variety and can finish a fight out of nowhere, and we’ve seen it countless times on the UFC level. Walker is very athletic for a guy his size and fights with a great deal of pressure that allows him to take chances. Walker is one of the more powerful and creative fighters in the sport and a black belt in BJJ. It wasn’t that long ago when Walker was the talk of the sport and looked at as a future champion. A win here and Walker builds that hype up yet again. This will be Walker’s four career fight in Nevada.
Even with a few recent losses, Santos is still a very talented and accomplished fighter who can’t be slept on. However, Walker at this underdog price is impossible to turn down. Walker is not only fresh and in the better form, but he’s the much bigger fighter with a four inch height advantage and six inch reach advantage. Walker is going to get a style fight he wants and he has the power to hurt Santos. Hell of a fight and could be a fight of the year candidate on paper, but I can’t turn down Walker and plus money.