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UFC Fight Night Betting Preview: UFC: Magomed Ankalaev vs. Johnny Walker

January 13, 2024

The UFC is back in action to start the new year with an exciting fight card on Saturday, January 13 at 7:00 PM ET at UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. In UFC Fight Night 234, third-ranked Magomed Ankalaev and seventh-ranked Johnny Walker will face off in a light heavyweight battle again to headline the event. Ankalaev is a heavy favorite, with a moneyline at -550.

Magomed Ankalaev Betting Preview

Ankalaev is getting another opportunity to redeem himself after landing an illegal knee on Walker in their bout last October. Prior to that, Ankalaev split a draw with Jan Blachowicz in UFC 282 in December of 2022. As you can see, he was not very active in 2023 and will look to start 2024 off with a big win.

He currently has 17 wins composed of nine knockouts and eight decisions. Six of these knockouts have ended within the first round, making him a deadly threat in opening rounds. He also has just one loss by submission, which was back in 2018.

He is landing 53 percent of his strikes and 31 percent of his takedowns. Looking at his significant strike performance, he lands 3.56 and takes on 2.20 in each minute of combat. This is an appealing ratio for strikes landed versus absorbed.

He does not have much action on the ground, as he averages 1.07 takedowns per 15 minutes of fight time. He also defends against significant strikes at 59 percent and against takedowns at 86 percent.

Johnny Walker Betting Preview

Walker had won three consecutive fights leading up to the last encounter with Ankalaev, with his last win being a unanimous decision over Anthony Smith at UFC on ABC 4 in May of last year. After getting hit with the illegal knee, he vows to get revenge after what he claimed was a “dirty” move.

He has accumulated 21 wins so far, which include 16 knockouts, three submissions, and two decisions. Even more impressive is that he has landed 17 of his victories in the opening round. Looking at his seven defeats, four of them have come by knockout.

He has landed 56 percent of his strikes and has been successful in all of his takedown attempts. His significant strike ratio is likable, as he delivers 3.87 significant strikes and takes on 2.64 each minute of fight time.

Walker lands 0.50 takedowns and 0.99 submissions in each 15 minutes of action. He also defends slightly below average against significant strikes (46 percent) and against  takedowns (57 percent).

Odds, Series Trends and Free Pick

MyBookie offers the odds for this fight, which showcases Magomed Ankalaev as a heavy favorite to win (-550).

Bettors should consider choosing a prop bet closer to the day of the fight. In addition, consider adding Ankalaev to a parlay with other battles on the card to potentially increase his payout.

Final Pick: Magomed Ankalaev in Parlay or Prop