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UFC 294 Betting Preview: Magomed Ankalaev vs. Johnny Walker

October 21, 2023

UFC 294 is just around the corner, set to take place in the United Arab Emirates. This features one of the most anticipated fight cards of the year. The second-ranked fighter, Magomed Ankalaev, will face off against the seventh-ranked Johnny Walker in a must-see lightweight division showdown.

  • Location: Etihad Arena, Yas Island/Yas West United Arab Emirates

  • Date: Saturday, October 21, 2023

  • Main Card: 2:00 PM ET (ESPN+)

  • Prelims: 10:00 AM ET (ESPN+)

Magomed Ankalaev Betting Preview

Ankalaev is currently on a nine-fight win streak coming into this event. However, he risked that streak in his last fight that ended in a draw against Jan Blachowicz back at UFC 282 in December of last year.

He has emerged as a rising star in this division, with an impressive track record of 17 victories that includes nine knockouts and eight submissions. Six of those knockouts have been first-round wins, and his only loss came via submission.

His striking accuracy typically stands at 52 percent, but his takedown accuracy lags at 29 percent. He maintains a noteworthy significant strike ratio, delivering 3.55 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 2.15. The gap between these averages will play a pivotal role in determining his success.

Ankalaev's defense against significant strikes is solid, with a 59 percent success rate, and he boasts a productive takedown defense at 86 percent. While he is not particularly active on the ground, he occasionally attempts 0.99 takedowns per 15 minutes of fighting action.

Johnny Walker Betting Preview

Walker has won his previous three fights and has a big opportunity ahead of him in this one. Recently, he defeated Anthony Smith by unanimous decision at UFC on ABC 4 in May of this year.

In the octagon, he has been a sensation with 21 victories and he has faced four out of seven defeats ending in knockouts. Among his wins, 16 have come via knockouts, three through submissions, and two by decision. Impressively, a staggering 17 of these wins concluded within the first round.

His striking accuracy stands at an impressive 56 percent, and his takedown accuracy is a perfect 100 percent, achieved in just three attempts. He consistently delivers 3.85 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 2.58. A more aggressive approach could potentially sway the outcome of the fight in his favor.

In terms of defense, he has a respectable 46 percent success rate against significant strikes and an impressive 60 percent success rate against takedowns. His ground game also shows activity, with 0.51 takedowns and 1.03 submissions per 15 minutes of fight time.

Odds, Series Trends and Free Pick

MyBookie's odds suggest that Magomed Ankalaev has a reasonable advantage to defeat a noteworthy opponent. If he succeeds, you might consider enhancing his potential earnings by including other fighters in a parlay.

  • Johnny Walker: +251

  • Magomed Ankalaev: -344

Walker has had trouble defending against aggressive strikers with knockout power. Ankalaev will likely end this early by knockout.

Spooky Express Pick: Take Magomed Ankalaev to Win at -344