- Odds: Thiago Santos -222 favorite, Johnny Walker +160 underdog.
- Santos is on a three-fight losing skid going up against #10 ranked light heavyweight Walker.
- We review the latest Santos vs Walker odds with an early fight prediction for UFC Fight Night 197.
Thiago Santos and Johnny Walker are set to headline the main event for a UFC Fight Night on September 25. The two top-ten heavyweights have real knockout power and are set to square off at the UFC Apex in Vegas as of now. Does Santos still have what it takes to make one more title run? We find out.
Santos vs Walker Odds
According to the latest UFC odds, Santos is favored to return to the win column against Walker. “Marreta” hasn’t won a fight since 2019, yet remains a prohibitive betting favorite, (Bet $222, win $100). Meanwhile, Johnny Walker is a +160 underdog (Bet $100, win $160).
The opening line was +145 for Walker, who now sits as at +160. While Santos was a comfortable -200 favorite, he now averages around -222 on most online sportsbooks we’ve checked.
Betting Value on Walker
Prior to fighting Corey Anderson, Johnny Walker was on a rocket ship towards the UFC light heavyweight title picture. The Brazilian has won four of his five UFC wins by KO, and has two back-to-back losses from Anderson and Nikita Krylov.
Walker knew that some changes were needed after some glaring holes were visable in his takedown defense and ground game. He switched camps from Tristar in Canada to SBG Ireland ahead of his last fight against Ryan Spann in September 19.
Now currently on a one-fight win streak and at 29 years of age, the future could be even brighter for Walker. He holds multiple “Performance of the Night” bonuses from his early UFC win and going up against an aging Thiago Santos could be perfect timing for Walker to pick up a career highlight win.
This will be a huge test for Walker and I expect lots of heavy shots, clinching, and grappling from two powerful fighters at 205 pounds.
This is a really close fight and a toss-up at some level. Given the explosiveness to starting to lack in Santos, it will play into Walker’s game. Walker hasn’t even entered his prime yet and is more athletic and faster, once he is efficient with his energy I can see Walker winning this fight by decision, even by finish if he makes his strikes count.
Pick: Johnny Walker
Santos Still Hungry for UFC Gold
Thiago Santos’s last UFC win was over current light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz. This will give “Marrett” the extra confidence to keep fighting past his current losing skid. After a career-high of almost being the man to dethrone Jon Jones, Santos then lost by submission to the #1 contender in the division Glover Teixeira. Santos then returned against Aleksandar Rakic, which was a disappointing performance on both sides.
Overall Santos is not in the worst situation as his record might show. If this were prime Santos then I believe he would finish Walker within three rounds. However, after seeing his hindered performance against Rakic, it seems that age and injuries are finally catching up with him.
Who do you see getting their hand raised, Santos or Walker? Comment below.
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