Kicking off the main card tomorrow night at UFC 279 is a light heavyweight battle between two entertaining contenders. “The Hulk” Ion Cutelaba (16-7-1) returns as the takes on top Brazilian contender Johnny Walker (18-7).
A few years ago, Cutelaba looked like he was going to be a force in the light heavyweight division. After back-to-back wins got him to 14-3, he had a fight with future light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira. That’s really where things went wrong.
Starting with that fight, Cutelaba is 2-4-1 in his last seven fights. In his last fight, he was dominated and stopped in the first round by Ryan Spann. He’s going to look to right the ship tomorrow against the tough Johnny Walker.
Walker was in a similar spot as Cutelaba. In 2019, he was unbeaten in the UFC and he had a fight with Corey Anderson. Had he won that fight, he might’ve fought for the title. Instead, he lost and starting with that fight, he’s just 1-4 in his last five. He enters UFC 279 on a two-fight losing streak.
UFC 279 Prediction
For this fight tomorrow, you have two guys who can both be a little wild despite their solid technique. For Walker, he needs to keep everything tight tomorrow. Normally, we saw a lot of crazy techniques and flashy attacks from the Brazilian.
However, that would play into the game plan of Cutelaba. Cutelaba wants this fight in close and if Walker does wild attacks that forces him close, Cutelaba will have openings at UFC 279. I really like Johnny Walker in this matchup if he can fight from range.
He has a ton of power and he has a lot of great technique from the outside. Cutelaba is going to try and close the distance and mix in his wrestling. For him to win, he’s going to need significant grappling time and the fight to stay inside.
However, I think Walker is going to have success on the outside and keeping his range. Honestly, I think he’ll land something big in the middle rounds and get a TKO finish.
Prediction: Johnny Walker by TKO – Round 2