Magomed Ankalaev vs Johnny Walker
2023-10-20 15:00:00 EDT
The Line: Magomed Ankalaev -355 / Johnny Walker +290
(Get latest betting odds)
Magomed Ankalaev and Johnny Walker fight Saturday in UFC 294 at the Etihad Arena. Ankalaev enters this fight with a 17-1-1 record and has won 53 percent of his fights by knockout. Walker enters this fight with a 21-7 record and has won 76 percent of his fights by knockout.
Magomed Ankalaev Betting Preview
Ankalaev has won 9 of his last 10 fights and is coming off a December draw against Jan Blachowicz. Ankalaev is averaging 3.55 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 52 percent. Ankalaev is averaging 0.99 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 29 percent. Ankalaev is coming off a draw at UFC 282 where he landed 191 total strikes and produced 2 takedowns. A controversial decision that Ankalaev probably should’ve won, but now he fights for the first time this year. A tough Russian striker who can take a shot, Ankalaev has power in his hands that’s helped produced 10 knockouts, and he comes from a wrestling background. Ankalaev is quite an athlete who will mix in kicks and isn’t afraid to push the pace on the feet. Ankalaev has also proven to have above-average takedown defense through 11 UFC fights. Ankalaev has very good cardio for a man his size, and it’s helped him win 8 of his 9 career decisions. Despite his wrestling, Ankalaev has never produced a submission victory. This will be Ankalaev’s third career fight in Abu Dhabi.
Johnny Walker Betting Preview
Walker has split his last 8 fights and is coming off a May win over Anthony Smith. Walker is averaging 3.85 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 56 percent. Walker is averaging 0.51 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 100 percent. Walker is coming off a decision win at UFC on ABC 4 where he landed 99 strikes and produced 1 takedown. Walker is now 2-2 in career decisions and has a chance to win 3 fights this year. A victory here, and Walker puts his name in the conversation for fighter of the year. Walker throws everything hard with great variety, and 19 of his 21 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 28 fights overall end in knockouts. This will be Walker’s first career fight in Abu Dhabi.
There’s no fight history between these 2 fighters.
Randy’s Free Pick
Ankalaev is probably the better fighter overall with more tools in his toolbox and his wrestling gives him a massive advantage in this bout. However, we’re getting almost three times our money with a powerful striker in Walker, the bigger fighter and a guy who has a seven-inch reach advantage. Walker is the type of guy who only needs to clip somebody to drop an opponent, and that size edge is no joke. There’s serious value with Walker and the big plus money. I’ll take a shot in the dark.