Prediction for the fight Magomed Ankalaev vs Johnny Walker

After an unsuccessful first meeting, Magomed Ankalaev and Johnny Walker were given another chance, this time, in the main event of UFCFight Night 234, which will take place on January 14 and will open the new fighting year of 2024. Despite the uncertain result of their last match, this time there is even less belief in the Brazilian’s triumph, which is why the gap in odds between the guys has become even greater. But is the Russian's victory so obvious in this light heavyweight clash?

Magomed Ankalaev vs Johnny Walker

Magomed Ankalaev

Since his last entry into the octagon, Magomed has moved one line lower in the ranking - now he is 3rd. The athlete’s list of achievements includes: the title of Master of Combat Sambo, world champion in mixed martial arts (amateurs), WFCA champion (professionals), and former contender for the UFC belt in the up to 93 kg category.


Ankalaev has a minimum of weaknesses: in the stand he is fast and technical, charges powerfully with his legs and works well in twos. At the same time, Magomed has excellent distance control, takedown defense, and footwork. On the ground, he can offer confident control of positions, and at the net too, and if he is not so good with his submission game, then with ground and pound he is completely fine.


The Russian does not have the best record of successful transfers to the ground, and in the clinch, sometimes his activity is far from ideal. In the last two fights, Magomed took on too many low kicks, and on top of that, in a number of fights, he demonstrated passivity in the first minutes, accelerating only during the fight, but now everything is much better with this.

The current form and readiness of the fighter

Ankalaev is 31 years old. At the moment, a series of two unconvincing performances, a draw with Jan Blachowicz and a violation with Walker, cast doubt on whether Magomed is as versatile as they say he is. However, before that he dealt with quite serious fighters, the same Smith, Santos, and Nikita Krylov - high-level tops. Now, it is important for Ankalaev not to lose his head because of the feud with Johnny, otherwise he can be caught making mistakes, otherwise, with preparation and the mental component, he is doing fine.

Magomed Ankalaev vs Johnny Walker

Johnny Walker

No rating rotations took place in the division - Johnny is still number 7 in the rating. He is a jitser, a brown belt and a highly skilled Muay Thai fighter. In 2018, he became a champion in two European organizations: UCMMA in Britain, and EBD in Belgium. Then, through the “Contender Series” he got to the UFC, where he got 4 “Performances of the Night” and 6 early victories.


Walker uses a peculiar style: he feints a lot, constantly jerks the opposition, imitating a swing to kicks, and moves well, suddenly exploding with powerful attacks. This is the most dangerous striker, having knockout power in all limbs, without exception. Moreover, the Brazilian retains his crushing power on the ground, rewarding his opponents with ground and pound as soon as he is on top.


The gap that Johnny is still working on is the ground game, but the problem is that he develops it with BJJ coaches, not high-quality wrestlers. This is where the difficulty in maintaining positions comes from. And in this case there is no need to talk about attacks and counterattacks using techniques. Also, the athlete has some difficulties with cardio, but in this aspect he has grown a lot over the past couple of years.

The current form and readiness of the fighter

Walker is 31 years old and his statistics consist of two defeats in a row to the tops - Thiago Santos and Jamal Hill, as well as three victories: Kucelaba, Craig and Smith were completed quite confidently by him. Of course, we do not forget about the “failed” fight with Magomed Ankalaev, but there, none of the participants had time to show anything expressive. Johnny started working with the right people who put his talent in the right direction, and his personal history with the Russian is simply bound to get the most out of him.

Comparative analysis

In the last fight, Walker’s superiority in arm span, and we are talking about an impressive 18 centimeters, did not give him any special privileges. Although, in terms of striking, he did not lag behind his counterpart in accuracy and speed, so now we can say with confidence that in the stand-up, Ankalaev needs to be extremely careful, and it is better not to take risks at all in exchanges with the Brazilian.

It's too likely that Johnny's stray beater will find its target. But at the net, Magomed did not have any particular difficulties in holding his opponent and striking him with meaningful blows. On the ground, this approach has every chance of becoming Walker’s swan song. He is no match for the Russian on the ground floor, so if it is a one-wicket defeat, it will be in the aspect of fighting.

What we have as a result: the guys can knock each other out with a 50/50 probability, and in close combat, Ankalaev’s chances will definitely increase exponentially with each round. By the way, in terms of endurance, he is also better than his opponent, but there is every reason to believe that they will not need even 3 rounds to reveal the winner.

Magomed Ankalaev vs Johnny Walker Prediction

In the rematch, the gap in odds is simply huge, and again it is not entirely clear on what grounds. Yes, Magomed is able to translate and keep Johnny on the ground as long as he wants, but to do this he needs to make Walker make a mistake and catch him at this moment. On arms and legs, the Russian doesn’t even have a five-fold advantage, so I wouldn’t give him such advances.

In this case, betting on the total rounds is still relevant, because the odds on Magomed still leave much to be desired (1.17, rarely a little higher). It is likely that closer to the match they will begin to believe in Johnny more, but his victory is real only with a quick knockout in round 1-2. We are interested in bets such as total under (2.5) or Ankalaev’s victory by KO/TKO/Submission, even taking into account the five-round format. At the same time, you should always keep in mind that an upset is more than possible. Install the 1xbet app and place a bet on the favorite!

Prediction: total under (2.5) by rounds/Early victory of Magomed Ankalaev

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