- UFC 294 odds are in favor of Magomed Ankalaev -345 against Johnny Walker +275.
- Can Walker find a way to get past the tough test that is Magomed Ankalaev?
- See the best betting props & predictions for Ankalaev vs Walker.
UFC 294 continues to expand for this October, now a light heavyweight bout between Magomed Ankalaev and Johnny Walker is set to face off with the winner potentially getting a title shot at 205 pounds next.
Adding to the excitement, the event’s headline bout features a lightweight championship rematch between Islam Makhachev vs Alexander Volkanovski.
Ankalaev vs Walker Odds
As per DraftKings Sportsbook Magomed Ankalaev is a -345 favorite to Johnny Walker as a +275 underdog. That’s an implied win probability of 77.5% for Ankalaev who is the #2 ranked UFC light heavyweight. The odds are currently stacked against Brazil’s Johnny Walker, but if you fancy him to upset the betting sites you can bet $100 on Walker to net $275.
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Magomed Ankalaev vs Johnny Walker Prediction
Magomed Ankalaev hasn’t lost a fight in the UFC since losing to Paul Craig by submission back in 2018. His most recent wins include Volkan Oezdemir, Thiago Santos, and Anthony Smith. Ankalaev’s last fight was a split draw against former light heavyweight champion Jan Błachowicz.
Ankalaev boasts a respectable 3.55 Strikes Landed per Minute (SLpM) with a solid 52% Striking Accuracy. When it comes to striking, Magomed Ankalaev is no slouch. He has a knack for landing clean shots and doing so with precision. His striking defense is also impressive, sitting at a remarkable 59%, showing his ability to avoid damage and keep himself safe from his opponent’s strikes.
However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for Ankalaev. His Strikes Absorbed per Minute (SApM) of 2.15 suggests that he does get hit, and his Striking Accuracy, while good, is not extraordinary. This could be exploited by his opponent if they can capitalize on these opportunities.
Johnny Walker’s stock is back in the green since, winning three straight from 2022 to this year. Walker’s most recent win was over Anthony Smith, similar to Ankalaev. Walker has mixed in KO victories and slick submission capabilities to become a more well-rounded force to be recognized with.
Walker brings a higher SLpM at 3.85, coupled with an impressive 56% Striking Accuracy. This guy can throw hands! When he lands, he lands with authority, and his accuracy is nothing short of exceptional. However, his striking defense isn’t as tight, sitting at 46%. This could be a way to get away from the standing war against Ankalaev.
Now, let’s talk about the ground game. Magomed Ankalaev has a clear advantage in the grappling department. His Takedowns Average per 15 minutes is almost double that of Walker, and his Takedown Accuracy is 29%, which is decent. Furthermore, his Takedown Defense stands at 86%, showing his ability to thwart takedown attempts. The only area where Fighter A might be lacking is in submissions, with an average of 0.0 submissions per 15 minutes. He’s not a submission specialist by any means.
Walker, on the other hand, has a unique grappling stat that stands out – a perfect 100% Takedown Accuracy. If he decides to take the fight to the ground, Walker is almost guaranteed to get it there. However, his Takedown Defense is a bit suspect at 60%. This could be exploited by Ankalaev if he chooses to employ his wrestling skills.
So, how do these fighters win this fight? Ankalaev’s path to victory lies in his striking and defensive abilities. He should focus on keeping the fight standing, where he can utilize his striking accuracy to land clean shots while avoiding his opponent’s strikes with his excellent defense. If Ankalaev can keep the fight standing and pick his shots wisely, he could secure a decision victory or even a knockout.
Walker should use his superior striking to his advantage. He needs to keep the pressure on and look for openings to exploit Ankalaev’s weaker striking defense. Additionally, Walker can mix things up by using his outstanding takedown accuracy to catch Ankalaev off guard and take the fight to the ground, where he can potentially secure a submission victory.
In terms of advantages, Ankalaev has the edge in defensive skills and overall experience. His ability to avoid damage and control the pace of the fight could prove invaluable. Walker has the advantage in striking accuracy and takedowns. If he can impose his striking game and mix in some well-timed takedowns, he could swing the fight in his favor.
Now, for the prediction. In this matchup, it’s all about whether Ankalaev can weather the storm of Walker striking and maintain his defensive prowess. If he can, he stands a good chance of winning by decision. However, if Walker can exploit Ankalaev’s weaker striking defense and use his takedown accuracy effectively, stop the Russian either by TKO or submission.
Pick: Walker by TKO, KO or submission.