UFC booking Thiago Santos – Johnny Walker

The UFC is in the process of finalizing a fun light heavyweight matchup between top ten contenders. Combate was the first to report that the promotion was close to finalizing a matchup between Thiago Santos (21-9) and Johnny Walker (18-5).

The matchup will take place at a UFC Fight Night on September 25th. This is a massive opportunity for Johnny Walker who is currently ranked tenth in the division. Walker was supposed to fight Jimmy Crute back in March.

However, Walker had to pull out of the fight and Crute went on to fight Anthony Smith. I figured the UFC would give Walker someone like Crute upon his return, but that’s not what’s happening. Walker is getting a shot at a former title challenger and top five contender.

In March of 2019, Johnny Walker knocked out Misha Cirkunov in seconds. That knockout had him 3-0 in the UFC with three quick first round knockouts. The promotion moved Walker up the ladder fast and had him face Corey Anderson at UFC 244.

Walker had hurt his shoulder celebrating the Cirkunov win and this was his return fight. Anderson knocked him out in the first round. Then, Walker lost to Nikita Krylov by decision. Walker did get a win over Ryan Spann in September which got him back on track.

This matchup on September 25th is huge for Walker. If he can pick up an impressive victory over Santos, he might only be a win or two away from a UFC title shot.

UFC crossroads for Marreta

It seems just like yesterday that Thiago “Marreta” Santos was challenging Jon Jones at UFC 239. Santos destroyed his knee in the opening rounds, but still fought the all time great to a split decision.

Santos returned after a lengthy layoff to fight Glover Teixeira last fall. He had his moments in the fight, but Santos ultimately gassed out and was submitted by Glover Teixeira.

At UFC 259, Santos fought Aleksandar Rakic and seemed extremely gun shy. He lost a decision and now he’s lost three in a row. Fighting Johnny Walker is a step back for Marreta, but it’s a needed one. This is a big fight for both of these men but in very different ways. It should be a fantastic matchup with so much on the line.

After setback at UFC 261, what’s next for Jimmy Crute?

Jimmy Crute (12-2) had a massive opportunity at UFC 261. He had the opportunity to fight a top six opponent and former title challenger, Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (35-16).

Going into UFC 261, this fight was being looked at as a stepping stone for Crute. Many in the media including myself are extremely high on Jimmy Crute and his talent.

A win over someone like Lionheart Smith would put Crute only a win or two away from a UFC title shot. That said, it wasn’t going to be an easy fight and there’s plenty of fight left in Anthony Smith.

When the fight started on Saturday, Crute was really working his leg kicks. He couldn’t get much going up top because of Smith’s piston-like jab that kept popping his head back throughout the first round.

However, Crute was doing some damage to the legs of Smith at UFC 261. You could tell that if Crute just landed a few more kicks to the right spot, Anthony Smith was going to be in a lot of trouble.

Just before the end of the round, Smith landed the perfect leg kick on Jimmy Crute which really injured his knee. Crute struggled to finish the round and the doctor called a stop to the action in between rounds. A disappointing end at UFC 261 for the Australian.

What’s next after UFC 261?

While UFC 261 didn’t go as planned, I wouldn’t say that it’s a major setback. Crute took a big step up in competition and he came up short. That doesn’t take away from his talent or what I think is in store for his future.

I believe that Jimmy Crute will be a serious contender for the UFC title one day. However, Saturday night showed that it’s not quite time just yet. So, what does the UFC do with Crute now?

Well, the first thing is his health. Once it’s determined how long he has to be out, then the promotion can start thinking about an opponent. An opponent I really like is Crute’s original opponent, Johnny Walker (18-5).

Walker and Crute were supposed to fight before Walker got injured. Anthony Smith then jumped in to fight Crute at UFC 261. These two young contenders will still put on an excellent fight and it’s a fight that makes a ton of sense.

UFC: Anthony Smith steps in for Johnny Walker and will fight Jimmy Crute

Anthony Smith

It didn’t take long for the UFC to find a new opponent for Jimmy Crute (12-1). Earlier today, we found out that Johnny Walker (18-5) had torn his pectoral muscle and as a result, was out of his UFC 260 bout with Crute. 

Crute posted on his Instagram last night that someone had already agreed to replace Walker. However, the name hadn’t been released yet. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto broke the news that it will be Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (34-16) who will be stepping in for Walker.

The fight between the two men has been pushed back from it’s original date at UFC 260. Smith and Crute will fight on a UFC Fight Night that is currently scheduled on April 24th. No word on if this fight will be a main event or not at this point.

With Walker getting injured, Jimmy Crute actually lucked out. He’s getting a higher ranked opponent and he’s fighting someone who has challenged for the UFC‘s light heavyweight championship in addition to taking on some of the division’s best.

This fight is really going to tell us a lot about where Jimmy Crute is. Crute suffered his first loss in 2019 against Misha Cirkunov, but has since bounced back and scored two first round finishes in 2020.

Big UFC Light Heavyweight Matchup

Lionheart has had a very up and down couple of years in the UFC. Back in 2019, Smith got his shot against Jon Jones for the light heavyweight championship. Smith had won three fights in a row prior including defeating two former light heavyweight champions.

Lionheart lost to Jones by decision. He bounced back extremely well by submitting Alexander Gustafsson. However, that is where the UFC career of Smith hit a wall. Smith was dominated by both Glover Teixeira and Aleksandar Rakic in back-to-back fights in 2020.

After the two lopsided losses, the UFC gave Smith, Devin Clark. Clark was unranked, but had shown a lot of promise. Smith was able to bounce back and submit Clark in the first round and in doing so, he seemed to get his confidence back.

Now, Smith will take on one of the most dangerous and hungry contenders in light heavyweight division. This fight is going to be massive for the light heavyweight division and whoever wins should be looking to the top five for their next fight.

Johnny Walker out of UFC 260 bout with Jimmy Crute

A fun light heavyweight matchup scheduled for UFC 260 has been called off. MMA Fighting confirmed this morning that Johnny Walker (18-5) is out of his upcoming matchup with Jimmy Crute (12-1).

Crute posted on Instagram last night that his opponent (Walker) was ducking him again. However, Walker’s team told MMA Fighting today that Walker tore his pectoral muscle and the injury requires immediate surgery.

The rough timetable for this injury is about six months of recovery. This was expected to be a barnburner between the two top fifteen UFC light heavyweights. Johnny Walker was looking to pickup his second straight win.

A couple of years ago, Walker was one of the hottest prospects in the UFC. He was destroying anyone the promotion put in front of him and he was doing it quickly. However, he then ran into Corey Anderson.

Anderson is one of the best light heavyweights in the world and he was able to stop Walker in the first round. From there, Walker dropped a decision to Nikita Krylov before bouncing back to knock out Ryan Spann. This is just another setback for the UFC‘s Walker.

What’s the UFC’s Plan?

Jimmy Crute is still going to be competing at UFC 260. According to Crute’s original post on Instagram, the promotion has already found him an opponent who has accepted the fight. Apparently, Crute likes this matchup a lot more.

Crute wrote on his Instagram, “I can’t express how excited and grateful I am that a true fighter has decided to step in and fight me. This is a better fight , better name and bigger challenge but I’m ready for it.”

As of now, there is no word on who this mystery opponent is for UFC 260. Although, given the excitement of Crute, you have to imagine it’s someone ranked in the top ten. A name I’d watch out for is Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (34-16).

UFC books Johnny Walker – Jimmy Crute

We have our first UFC match making news of 2021. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was first to report this afternoon that the promotion is finalizing a banger of a matchup at light heavyweight between Johnny Walker (18-5) and Jimmy Crute (12-1).

The fight is expected to take place on March 27th. Both of these light heavyweight fighters rank inside the top 12 of the UFC‘s rankings at 205. Both are also two of the more exciting young contenders at light heavyweight.

Johnny Walker will try to make it two in a row when he makes the walk on March 27th. Walker was being looked at as one of the best prospects in the UFC in 2019. The Brazilian stormed onto the UFC scene in 2018.

After being awarded a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series, Walker made his UFC debut against Khalil Rountree. Walker knocked out Rountree in under two minutes. His next two fights both ended in under a minute.

The UFC moved him up to face Corey Anderson at UFC 244. Walker was the favorite, however, he ended up getting finished in the first round. He then lost a second straight fight to Nikita Krylov back in March. He did bounce back to knockout Ryan Spann in September.

Big UFC matchup at Light Heavyweight

Standing across from Walker will be The Brute, Jimmy Crute. Crute had a great 2020 where he won two fights by first round stoppage. One by submission then one by knockout back in October.

Crute is being looked at as one of the best prospects in the UFC. The Australian light heavyweight contender is just 24 years old. However, he has tremendous skills on the ground and on the feet as he showed in 2020.

This fight will be a big test for Crute. He’s in a very good position because if he doesn’t win, it won’t set him back a ton. However, if he’s able to beat Johnny Walker, he will be vaulted into the top ten with another big fight ahead of him.

This is a very big fight for the UFC’s light heavyweight division. With Jon Jones out of the picture and Israel Adesanya moving up to challenge Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259, the division is entering a new day. Undoubtedly, both of these men are big prospects for the future of 205.

What’s next for Anthony Smith after UFC Vegas 15?

Anthony Smith

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 15, Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (34-16) took on Devin Clark (12-5) in the main event. Originally the two were supposed to be in the co-main, but the original main event was scrapped due to a positive COVID test. 

The two also agreed to change the fight from three rounds to five rounds. However, the UFC Vegas 15 main event would not require more than a couple of minutes of the first round.

Devin Clark came out fast and hit Smith with a right hand. After that, he tried to initiate the takedown and use his wrestling. However, Smith did a very good job of reversing the position and landing a takedown of his own.

Once on the ground, Smith tried to get the back of Clark. Clark did a good job of defending and actually reversed the position to get on top. However, once there, Smith was able to lock up a triangle choke off of his back.

Clark tried to fight it off, but Smith locked it in very tight forcing the tap. A massive win for Smith who had entered UFC Vegas 15 on a two-fight losing streak. Both fights he looked completely checked out, but he looked fantastic on Saturday.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 15?

It really can’t be expressed how big UFC Vegas 15 was for Anthony Smith. Lionheart is a former title challenger, but a loss would have been devastating for his career. After his last loss, people were suggesting a potential move back to middleweight.

However, Smith looked better than ever locking up the quick win on Saturday. So what should the UFC do with Smith after his big win? Well there are a couple of options, but a fight I really like is Smith and Johnny Walker (18-5).

Walker is coming off of a pretty impressive knockout victory over Ryan Spann back in September. He’s currently ranked ninth in the UFC‘s light heavyweight rankings and could use a bump up in competition.

After defeating a non-ranked opponent, I think it would also be good for Smith to fight someone in the top ten in his next outing. Time will tell what the promotion does, but that would be my suggestion.

UFC Vegas 11 Recap: Colby Covington dominates Tyron Woodley

UFC, Colby Covington

Tonight, the UFC hosted their final fight night in the US before they head over to Fight Island for the next five weeks. This was arguably the most anticipated ESPN card of the summer with such a heated main event.

In the main event of the evening, welterweight rivals Colby Covington (15-2) and Tyron Woodley (19-5-1) finally fought. UFC Vegas 11 delivered an incredible night of fights so let’s dive into the recap of the main card.

Colby Covington dominates Tyron Woodley

The main event of the evening featured arguably the biggest grudge match of the year. Former champions, Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley stepped into the octagon to finally fight. The two top UFC welterweights have been begging for this fight for years.

As the UFC Vegas 11 main event got underway, Woodley immediately pushed forward. Covington seemed really patient to get things going. Both men exchanged leg kicks in the opening minute. Woodley went for a big right, and Covington immediately took Woodley down.

Covington started going to work with the ground and pound. Woodley worked his way back to the fence and used it to get back to his feet. Woodley was able to separate with three minutes left in the round. Covington continued to press forward pressuring Woodley.

Woodley landed a really good right body shot, but Covington countered with a big body kick. Covington landed a big right hand that he used to get back to a clinch. He did a really good job of landing good elbows in the clinch. Very good first round for Covington.

As the second round started, the former UFC interim champion started the pressure again. Woodley tried to throw some big shots, but nothing major came close early. Covington pushed Woodley back to the fence with shots, and immediately started to work from the clinch.

The two men separated, but Covington immediately pushed forward. Covington landed another body kick, but Woodley timed a good takedown. Woodley threatened with a guillotine as Covington defended, but it wouldn’t stick. Covington worked his way back to his feet.

Covington again looked to press Woodley back against the fence. The two men clinched again, and Covington pushed Woodley back to the fence. After they separated, Covington pushed forward with more pressure. Woodley was more active in round two, but it’s still a round for Covington.

The third round got underway with more Covington pressure. Woodley did seem pretty fresh, but an eye poke immediately paused the action. After the action resumed Woodley looked to press forward with big shots. Nothing hit the target and Covington countered with kicks.

Covington did a good job of keeping his hands up. Woodley pushed forward with big shots again, but Covington clinched him and pushed him against the fence. Covington did a really good job of landing some elbows in the clinch.

Woodley could not get off the fence as Covington’s pressure was very heavy. He tried to explode a few times, but Covington just pushed him back. Much less action in the third round, but its’ still a round that should be scored for Colby Covington.

As we entered the main event rounds, Covington continued to push forward with pressure. Covington landed a big headkick as he pushed Woodley back. Woodley landed a few really nice body kicks before Covington shot in and pushed him back against the fence.

Covington finally got the takedown and pushed Woodley to the ground. Woodley started looking a little fatigued from his back. Covington began to work the ground and pound with punches and elbows.

A big elbow bloodied the eye of Tyron Woodley. Covington was really coming on strong with the ground and pound in the fourth round. Covington’s pressure and shots were very heavy in the fourth round. Dominant fourth round for the former interim UFC welterweight champion.

As the final round got underway, Woodley was bouncing on his feet, but Covington backed him right up to the fence. Covington shot in and got another takedown. As Covington started working his top control something happened to Woodley. He winced in pain from his ribs and called for the fight to stop.

An odd finish, but nevertheless, a dominant win for Colby Covington. Covington called out the UFC welterweight champion and UFC’s BMF after the fight was over. A devastating loss for Tyron Woodley who has been dominated in three straight fights.

Eye Pokes lead to a draw in the Co-Main

The co-main event of the evening featured the UFC‘s record holder in virtually every category. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-15, 1 NC) was looking to get back on track after four straight losses. Niko Price (14-4, 1 NC) was the man standing in his way of snapping that skid.

As the fight got underway, Price immediately pushed forward with big shots. Cerrone was getting caught early and often. Price was stunning Cerrone with virtually everything he was throwing. Somehow, Cowboy stayed on his feet through the onslaught.

Cowboy landed a couple of big knees which slowed down Price. The two men engaged in a clinch as the pace slowed significantly. Cerrone looked to be regaining his composure while Price was trying to catch his breath. Cowboy landed a few additional big knees in the clinch.

Cowboy landed a big headkick as the two men broke. Cerrone looked to be more confident until an eye poke slowed his pace. After the fight resumed, Price landed a couple of additional big shots. However, Price caught Cerrone with another eye poke. This one loses him a point. The round should be a 9-9.

As the second round got underway, Price continued to push forward. The two men seemed a little more tactical to start the second round. Price landed a big body shot that backed Cerrone told the fence. Cerrone was looking to work the leg kicks as Price worked the jab.

Cowboy landed a big combination that seemed to get Price’s attention. Cerrone really started to find a rhythm with jab in the second. Price seemed more content to counter strike while Cerrone was throwing more combinations.

Halfway through the round, Price started picking up the pace again. Cowboy found himself against the fence and Price really started to throw some serious heat. Price started to pull away with the striking numbers late in the second round. Very close second round that I slightly lean towards Price.

The final round got underway with both men embracing. Price got the action started with some heavy leg kicks. Again, Price was pushing Cerrone back to the fence. Cerrone timed a nice takedown and briefly had Price’s back, but Price got right back to his feet.

The two men then started striking from distance. Cowboy was doing a really decent job of finishing combinations with kicks, but Price kept pushing the pace. Halfway through the round, Cowboy timed another really good takedown and got to Price’s back.

However, this time, Cerrone was able to hold onto the back for about 30 seconds. No damage, but significant control time. Both men then resumed the striking contest. These two were just trading, and both were landing good shots.

With one minute left, Cerrone really started to land the better shots. However, Price kept pushing forward. Cerrone was landing cleaner shots with 30 seconds left. Both men exchanged massive combinations near the end. I gave the final round to Cerrone which makes the fight a draw. The judges agreed scoring the fight a draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28).

Khamzat Chimaev’s UFC hype train continues

The biggest prospect in the UFC took center stage tonight. Khamzat Chimaev (8-0) was looking to continue to ride the incredible momentum that he gained over the summer. Veteran Gerald Meerschaert (31-13) was looking to derail the hype train.

As the fight got underway, Chimaev could not stop smiling at Meerschaert. Chimaev pushed forward with kicks and pressure. Meerschaert was pressed back to the fence and Chimaev lands one massive right that puts Meerschaert out cold. The Chimaev UFC hype train just went to the next level.

Johnny Walker finishes Ryan Spann in the first

The third fight on the UFC Vegas 11 main card featured a light heavyweight contest between Johnny Walker (18-5) and Ryan Spann (18-6). Spann was looking to remain unbeaten in the UFC while Walker was looking to get back to his old form after two straight losses.

As the first round started, Johnny Walker immediately landed a massive leg kick and followed it with a shot that wobbled Spann. After seeming rocked for a second, Spann shot in and landed a takedown. Walker worked his way back up to his feet, but Spann pressed him against the fence.

Walker was able to break the clinch, but Spann dropped Walker with a massive shot. Spann followed up with some big shots, but Walker regained his composure. Spann dropped him again briefly, but then shot in for a takedown.

In close quarters, Walker started landing massive shots to the side of Spann’s head. Spann seemed rock from the shots, but kept trying for a takedown. Walker landed a massive elbow that crumbled Spann. The ref called a stop to the action, and Walker got back in the UFC win column with a TKO.

Dern’s Jiu Jitsu too much for Randa Markos

The second fight that was live on the UFC Vegas 11 main card was a strawweight contest between jiu jitsu world champion, Mackenzie Dern (9-1), and veteran, Randa Markos (10-9-1). Dern was looking to make it two in a row on her climb in the strawweight division.

As the first round started, both ladies immediately had a big exchange. Dern slipped trying to throw a head kick and landed on her back. Shockingly, Markos followed her to the ground and almost found herself in a triangle.

Dern was really showing off her elite grappling skills. She was able to transition her triangle attempt into having top control. After landing some solid elbows, Dern moved to attacking an armbar. She was able to lock it in, and Markos was forced to tap. Another impressive display and UFC win for Mackenzie Dern.

UFC Vegas 11 final takeaways

UFC Vegas 11 delivered with some excellent fights. Of course one of the big stories of the evening has to be Khamzat Chimaev who decimated Gerald Meerschaert in the first round. Of course the main event was a one sided beating from Colby Covington.

Now, the UFC makes their way to Fight Island for an insane five weeks of fights. It’s going to be fun, and fans should be excited.

UFC Vegas 11 Preview: Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley finally meet

UFC, Colby Covington

Tomorrow night, the UFC will host their final event in the US before packing up and leaving for for Fight Island for the next five weeks. In the main event, we have a fight that has been years in the making and it has a ton of heat.

Former UFC welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley (19-5-1), and former interim champion, Colby Covington (15-2), will finally meet. The entire card is fantastic so let’s dive into the main card for previews and predictions.

Former UFC Champions Finally Fight

Tomorrow night is a big night in the UFC‘s welterweight division. The main event of the evening pairs two former champions and two top five contenders against each other. There’s not one fighter who has more on the line than Tyron Woodley.

Yes, nobody can take away what Woodley has done, but if he loses convincingly for a third time in a row, it might be time to hang it up. When the calendar turned to 2019 last year, many wondered who could beat Tyron Woodley.

The champion was dominant. He had brutal power in his hands, and fantastic wrestling. He used those tools to get to the top. However, his last two fights have seen a tentative Woodley who was outworked and outclassed by Gilbert Burns and Kamaru Usman.

Standing across from Woodley will be Colby Covington. One of the more polarizing figures in the sport, but also one of the best fighters in the world. Covington rose to the top of the welterweight division with his world class talent, and effective use of the microphone.

Starting in 2016, Covington went on a seven fight winning streak where he was not only undefeated but nobody really challenged him. Covington puts on a pace that many fighters just can’t keep up with. Last December at UFC 245, Covington took on Kamaru Usman.

The fight was razor close. I had the fight 2-2 going into the fifth round, but one judge had Covington up 3-1. He went on to lose by TKO, but he showed great striking and very solid overall skills in that contest. A rematch between those two could very much be in the cards.

As for this fight, Covington poses massive problems for Woodley. Woodley has really struggled with guys who push the pace and come at him heavy. Well, Covington is going to do the exact same thing. Covington is going to push forward with good striking and a pace that’ll be tough to keep up with.

The only path to victory that I see for Woodley in this fight is first round KO/TKO. If this fight gets into the second or third rounds, I think you’ll see Covington really start to cruise. I just don’t see Woodley getting the better of Covington in this one.

Prediction: Colby Covington by Unanimous Decision

Donald Cerrone vs Niko Price

The co-main event of the evening features a fantastic matchup in the UFC‘s welterweight division. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-15, 1 NC) takes on Niko Price (14-4, 1 NC) in a fight that promises to deliver. Many are saying this could be fight of the night.

Over the past two years, it’s pretty clear what’s going to happen in a Niko Price fight. He’s either going to knock you out or he’s going to get knocked out trying. He’s 3-3 in his last six with all fights getting stopped by TKO or KO.

Price has been in the UFC for a while and put together a pretty nice resume. He holds wins over Alan Jouban, Randy Brown, Tim Means, and James VIck. The one knock on Price over the last couple of years has been his inconsistency as he tries to climb the ranks.

What is there to be said that hasn’t been said about Donald Cerrone. Cowboy holds virtually every record there is to hold in the UFC and he’s making the walk again. This time he’s trying to snap a four fight losing streak inside the octagon.

Now, those four fights have all come against former champions. Prior to the losing streak, many thought Cerrone was going to get another crack at the title. Cowboy has great skills on the feet and on the ground which is why he holds the finishes record.

I think that we are going to see a fight that primarily stays on the feet. While Price has looked really good on his feet over his last few fights, I think Cowboy has a little more technical skill to get it done. I’m expecting a war, and in the end, I’m taking Cowboy.

Prediction: Cowboy Cerrone by Unanimous Decision

Khamzat Chimaev vs Gerald Meerschaert

The third fight on the main card features the UFC‘s new budding star, Khamzat Chimaev (8-0). Chimeav came out of no where over the summer, but with two dominant victories on Fight Island in just 10 days, the MMA world fell in love with him.

Taking on Chimaev is going to be veteran Gerald Meerschaert (31-13). One has to wonder just how much the disrespect is getting to Meerschaert. The UFC has already booked Chimaev to fight on Fight Island, and the fight with Meerschaert hasn’t even taken place.

Meerschaert is fantastic on the ground holding 23 professional wins by submission. He is by no means a cupcake opponent for anyone. While he hasn’t defeated any top guys, his losses have come against guys like Thiago Santos, Ian Heinisch, and Jack Hermansson.

Chimaev would remind you of a bigger version of Khabib Nurmagomedov. All he wants to do is slam his opponent to the ground and smash their face in. However, I think we might see a little different strategy at first with Chimaev.

I’ve seen a lot of footage of Chimaev’s striking, and it’s actually very good. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Chimaev look to strike a bit. However, eventually he’s going to want to take this down. While Meerschaert is really good on the ground, I think the storm of top pressure and shots are going to be too much.

Prediction: Khamzat Chimaev by TKO – Round 2

Johnny Walker vs Ryan Spann

In the second fight on the main card, we have a matchup in the UFC‘s light heavyweight division between Johnny Walker (17-5) and Ryan Spann (18-5). Walker is another case of how quickly the tide can change in a UFC career.

At this point a year ago, Walker was one of the top prospects in the division. His flashy style combined with his power and size made him look like a future champion. However, Corey Anderson put a halt to that at UFC 244.

Walker was finished in the first round. Then in his return fight, Walker lost to Nikita Krylov back in March. In both of those fights, Walker just didn’t look like the same guy. He’s going to look to get back to his powerful finishing style against Spann.

Spann will enter the octagon on Saturday night riding an eight fight winning streak. He made an appearance on the Contender Series back in 2018. and since making his debut, he’s 4-0 inside the UFC. Spann has looked fantastic minus his last outing.

In his last fight, he had a close decision win against Sam Alvey. However, before that he had finishes over Devin Clark and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Spann is a jack of all trades that will throw finishing strikes and submissions at you.

This fight is very close on paper. I can see both guys winning this fight, and a lot is going to come down to which Johnny Walker we see. If we see the Johnny Walker with swagger, I think he takes it. If not, I think Spann has multiple paths to victory. I’m going on a limb with Walker on this one.

Prediction: Johnny Walker by TKO – Round 1

Mackenzie Dern vs Randa Markos

Kicking off the main card is a good matchup in the UFC‘s strawweight division as Mackenzie Dern (8-1) takes on Randa Markos (10-8-1). Markos is a very seasoned vet who has been in there with some of the best that the division has to offer.

In her tenure, Markos has wins over the likes of Angela Hill and Carla Esparza. Her last three losses have only come against top competition like Amanda Ribas, Claudia Gadelha, and Nina Ansaroff. Markos is a tough out in this division.

She has really good skills on the ground, and she’s got a pressuring striking style that can give Dern problems. A key for this fight is going to be for Markos to keep it standing and strike from distance. That is her path to victory.

There might not be a better grappler in women’s MMA than Mackenzie Dern. She is an absolute wizard on the ground, and she operates like quick sand. Once the fight touches the mat, it’s just inevitable that she’s going to get the win.

Dern is still relatively green in her overall MMA game, but she’s improving with every outing. However, there’s no secret as to what her strategy is on Saturday night. She’s going to look for the takedown and submission to end the fight.

Randa Markos is so tough, but can she keep Mackenzie Dern off of her. That is going to be the question in this one, and I’m just not sure she can. If this fight gets in close quarters, I’m not sure it’s going to last very long despite Markos’ decent grappling skills.

Prediction: Mackenzie Dern by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Round 1

UFC Vegas 11 Outlook

This fight card is absolutely fantastic from top to bottom. The UFC is really putting their best foot forward on their final show before the promotion packs their bags for Fight Island. So many storylines and fun fights will fill up the screen on Saturday night.

Johnny Walker – Ryan Spann booked for UFC 253

The UFC has booked a light heavyweight matchup for the main card of their September PPV that is expected to be headlined by Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa.

According to multiple reports, Johnny Walker (17-5) will be taking on Ryan Spann (18-5) at UFC 253. The fight pairs these two contenders who are heading in opposite directions.

UFC Crossroads

Back in 2017, Ryan Spann was knocked out on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. After that, he went back to the regional circuit where he won three consecutive fights by first round stoppage.

After those three wins, Spann got another shot on Dana White’s show. This time, Spann didn’t disappoint submitting his opponent in just 26 seconds which earned him a UFC contract.

Since earning that contract, Spann is 4-0 inside the octagon. The biggest win came against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira back at UFC 237. Spann knocked out Little Nog in the first round.

For Johnny Walker, his career has taken a steep downturn. After winning his first three UFC fights by sensational first round knockouts, he’s lost back-to-back fights.

Walker injured himself in his post-fight celebration after he knocked out Misha Cirkunov at UFC 235. Walker has not been the same fighter since.

This fight will be a massive fight because a loss for Walker puts him in no man’s land. Meanwhile a win for Spann would likely earn him a shot at someone inside the top ten.