Anthony Smith vs Johnny Walker
May 13, 2023 4:40 pm EDT
The Line: Johnny Walker -111 / Anthony Smith -109
(Get latest betting odds)
Anthony Smith and Johnny Walker fight Saturday in UFC on ABC 4 at the Spectrum Center. Smith enters this fight with a 36-17 record and has won 53 percent of his fights by knockout. Walker enters this fight with a 20-7 record and has won 80 percent of his fights by knockout.
Smith has split his last 8 fights and is coming off a July loss to Magomed Ankalaev. Smith is averaging 2.99 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 47 percent. Smith is averaging 0.44 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 27 percent. Smith is coming off a knockout loss at UFC 277 where he landed 21 total strikes and ate 64 total strikes. The loss snapped a 3-fight winning streak, and he’s now been knocked out 10 times in 17 losses. Smith is an athletic striker who is creative on his feet and has true one-punch knockout power. He’s one of the toughest fighters in the sport, as he can take a punch with the best of them and hang in there. Smith is highly effective with his legs and knees, and he’s comfortable on the canvas, where he has 14 career submission victories. A black belt in BJJ and with his striking ability, Smith is one of the more respected fighters in terms of MMA fans. However, Smith has taken punishment over the years, and he’ll soon be 35 years old, so it does feel like the click is ticking a bit. This will be Smith’s first career fight in North Carolina.
Walker has split his last 8 fights and is coming off a January win over Paul Craig. Walker is averaging 3.38 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 60 percent. Walker is averaging 0.41 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 100 percent. Walker is coming off a knockout win at UFC 283 where he landed 17 strikes and ate 3 strikes. Walker has put together back to back wins and now has 16 career knockouts. Just when the hype with Walker was dying down, he puts together two impressive finishes to turn some heads. Walker throws everything hard with great variety, and 19 of his 20 victories have been finishes. 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 20 of his 27 fights overall end in knockouts. This will be Walker’s first career fight in North Carolina.
Neither fighter attempts takedowns often, so this is likely going to be a stand and bang style fight. If that’s the case, I have to give Walker the edge. Walker is the bigger fighter, with a two-inch height edge and 6 inch reach advantage. Walker is also the younger fighter of the two and has taken less damage over the years. While Smith is as tough as nails, he’s been in wars over the years and those add up, especially in a fight like this where he’s sure to take more shots.
Toss up, pick ’em, must watch fight. I still lean Walker.