Johnny Walker has bounced back after back-to-back losses and his personality has not gone anywhere. The question is if his maturity has grown enough to take his game to the next level as he faces Thiago Santos Saturday in Las Vegas. The fight will take place at the UFC Apex with the main card and the prelims beginning at 7 p.m. ET and 4 p.m. ET respectively. We’ll look at three totals, but one in particular if you wish to bet on UFC this weekend.
The Over Is Tempting on …
Johnny Walker vs Thiago Santos – Over/Under 11/2
Knockout power and style points should impact you when considering the 1 1/2-round total for this fight. Walker possesses both while the latter has shown it can get him in trouble after losing to Corey Anderson in the first round via TKO.
Santos has not had a first-round finish since 2017. Walker has had eight first-round finishes (7 TKO, 1 Submission) since 2017, four of which came in the UFC. If Silva finishes the fight in the first round, it will likely come from him capitalizing on a mistake Walker makes in the fight. Walker, however, feels more calculated.
“Now I’m more mature,” said Walker in an interview with Ariel Helwani. “Now I’m committed to myself more so I invest 100 percent of my time now.”
Walker did say the dancing and the antics in the cage will not go anywhere.
“This is Johnny Walker. Johnny Walker will always be here,” said Walker. “It’s just more commitment.”
A more calculated Walker will invite an extended stay in the cage. Expect Walker to get the job done, just not in the first two rounds.
Kyle Daukaus vs Kevin Holland – Over/Under 2 1/2
The total has been set to 2 1/2 rounds in this fight. You would be tempted with taking the under if you based it on Holland’s best year in the UFC. In 2020, Holland tied the UFC record for most wins in a calendar year. He won five fights that year and three of them came via a first-round KO/TKO victory.
Looking at Holland’s 2020 record will make you wonder about the under. Looking at his last four fights, not so much. We know he can be taken to a decision with his last two losses to Marvin Vettori and Derek Brunson. The two first-round finishes prior to that were very suspect.
The win against Ronaldo Souza, which really propelled his hype train even further, was an awkward TKO that came from a Holland punch off of his back. Something that happens, but not often in MMA.
The fight before that was an awkward slam that initially didn’t look bad at first, but allowed Holland to secure a first-round finish after a verbal tap by Charlie Ontiveros.
The key is if Kyle Daukaus can have similar success to Holland’s last two opponents, who both beat Holland in five-round decisions. Daukaus feels that against the cage and on the ground is where Holland is weakest. He also made it clear that he’ll do what it takes to win, regardless if it goes to decision.
“I’m going out there to just win,” Daukaus told reporters at UFC Vegas 38’s pre-fight press conference. “If I have to make it a boring three-round fight, I’ll make it a boring three-round fight.”
Expect this fight to see the second round if you wish to bet online.
Misha Cirkunov vs Krysztof Jotko – Over/Under 1 1/2
Whether it’s a win, Cirkunov is known for one-round fights, recently, mostly losing in the first round. One-round fights have been the nature of Cirkunov’s career, not only in the UFC but for his entire MMA career. Here are some trends to consider if you’re looking to place a wager at the sportsbook.
Cirkunov’s last seven fights have not made it outside the first round.
Cirkunov has had only two of his 10 UFC fights that made it outside the first round.
Cirkunov has had only five of his 21 MMA fights make it outside the first round.