UFC Vegas 38 features an exciting light heavyweight bout between the former number one title challenger, Thiago Santos, and the rising star in the division in Johnny Walker.
When Johnny Walker made his UFC debut and went on an impressive winning streak, many fans thought that he would be a future title challenger in the future.
However, Walker’s knock-out loss to Corey Anderson at UFC 244 put an end to the hype behind him. Moreover, he lost to Nikita Krylov by decision in his next fight.
Though he bounced back with a win over Ryan Spann he needs to go a long way before he finds himself in the title picture at the light heavyweight division.
On the other hand, Thiago Santos has been on a decline ever since his loss to Jon Jones. He suffered multiple injuries in the fight against the former UFC light heavyweight champion. And it seems that has taken a toll on Santos as he has not looked impressive in his last two fights.
So can Santos bounce back from a three-fight losing streak in the division? Or will we see Walker putting on an emphatic win at UFC Vegas 38?
Thiago Santos vs Johnny Walker stats:
Wins/Losses: 21/9 (15 KO/TKOs)
Height/Reach: 6 ft2 inches/ 72 inches
Striking Accuracy: 49%
Grappling Accuracy: 38%
Wins/Losses: 18/5(15 KO/TKOs)
Height/Reach: 6 ft 6 inches/ 82 inches
Striking Accuracy: 72%
Thiago Santos vs Johnny Walker prediction:
Though Santos is on a three-fight losing streak in UFC right now he has only lost to the top guys in the division. The fights against Jon Jones and Glover Texeira were very close.
Thiago Santos put on an impressive performance against Jon Jones, arguably the greatest fighter of all time, with a severely injured leg. And he almost finished Glover, who will take on the champion Jan Blachowicz in his next fight.
However, his fight against Alexander Rakic was certainly concerning. No doubt, Rakic is an extremely skilled striker in the division, who can be a huge threat to the light heavyweight title.
However, Santos, who is known for his striking and knock-out power, should have had a better outing against Rakic. He will take on a very similar opponent in his next fight on UFC Vegas 38.
Johnny Walker is explosive and though he is not as skilled as Rakic he has a huge reach and unorthodox striking. Walker can risk it all in the first round and go for the finish while putting himself in danger of getting finished.
And that’s why this fight is so exciting for the fans. Both Santos and Walker have the ability to finish the fight at any point. But, Santos certainly has the advantage over Walker when it comes to grappling.
Johnny Walker is a big guy for the division and it certainly helps him during the grappling exchanges. But there are concerns around the chin of Walker, which has not looked good in his last couple of fights.
He got knocked out by Corey Anderson, who is not known for his striking ability. Moreover, he almost got finished by Ryan Spann in his next fights. On the other hand, Santos is very reliable when it comes to heavy shots.
We know Santos can go five rounds in a high-pressure matchup. But, Walker is yet to prove his cardio in a tense five-round showdown.
Though Walker has the potential to secure an early finish against Thiago Santos it’s very likely that Santos will win the fight at UFC Vegas 38.
Thiago Santos vs Johnny Walker prediction: Thiago Santos by TKO