MMA

UFC 279: Ion Cutelaba vs Johnny Walker Picks, Predictions, Odds

Johnny Walker vs Ion Cutelaba
September 10, 2022 10:10 pm EDT
The Line: Ion Cutelaba -220 / Johnny Walker +185
(Click here for latest betting odds)

Johnny Walker and Ion Cutelaba fight Saturday in UFC 279 at the T-Mobile Arena. Walker enters this fight with a 18-7 record and has won 83 percent of his fights by knockout. Cutelaba enters this fight with a 16-7 record and has won 75 percent of his fights by knockout.

Walker has lost 4 of his last 5 fights and is coming off a February loss to Jamahal Hill. Walker is averaging 3.45 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 58 percent. Walker is averaging 0.23 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 100 percent. Walker is coming off a knockout loss at UFC Fight Night 201 where he landed 12 strikes and ate 7 strikes. Walker went from an exciting prospect who looked like he could get a title shot soon to losing 4 of his last 5 bouts and being knocked out twice. Needless to say, the 30-year-old Brazilian needs a win here to change the way people currently view him. Walker throws everything hard with great variety and has seen 15 of his 18 wins end in knockouts. 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 brown belt in BJJ. Walker has seen 19 of his 25 fights overall end in knockouts. This will be Walker’s sixth career fight in Nevada.

Cutelaba has won 2 of his last 7 fights and is coming off a May loss to Ryan Spann. Cutelaba is averaging 4.81 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 42 percent. Cutelaba is averaging 4.75 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 62 percent. Cutelaba is coming off a submission loss at UFC on ESPN 36 where he landed 2 total strikes. The Hulk has now been submitted 3 times in his career and looks to avoid back-to-back losses for the second time in his career. Cutelaba comes from a wrestling background while also having experience in Sambo and Judo, but he’s most known for his standup striking. Cutelaba has impressive power and one punch knockout potential, and 12 of his 16 career victories have come by knockout. Cutelaba throws nothing but heavy strikes. The issue with Cutelaba is that his conditioning fades rather quickly, and he’s 2-3-1 in his last 6 fights that have made it out of the first round. This will be Cutelaba’s fifth career fight in Nevada.

Cutelaba should be favored, as he’s the more balanced fighter and he’s looked better over the years. It’s obvious who should be favored here. Walker has looked rough recently, and you now have to question his mental approach as he went from being on the top of the world to falling off a cliff. With that said, Walker is still a powerful, accurate striker who just needs to land one shot to change a fight. Also, Walker has a 7-inch reach advantage here. He has a massive size advantage. It’s not all that convincing given the current form, but you can certainly talk yourself into an upset. 

I’ll take a shot with Walker in the underdog spot.

Randy Chambers's Free Pick:
Johnny Walker +185

Randy Chambers

Randy has covered sports betting since 2014 and writes about everything from NFL to WNBA.
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