By Jed Meshew | | 8 mins
UFC Vegas 38: Santos Vs Walker Odds, Tips & Predictions
This weekend the UFC betting action returns with yet another Fight Night card, this time headlined by a pivotal light heavyweight matchup between top contenders Thiago Santos and Johnny Walker.
Santos has had a rough run of late, losing to Jon Jones, Glover Teixeira, and Aleksandar Rakic in his last three fights, but he remains a top-five fighter in the division. Similarly, Walker was a rising star in the division before suffering back-to-back losses that stymied his ascent, but now he looks to insert himself into the top five with a win over his biggest name yet.
Thiago Santos vs. Johnny Walker UFC Odds
|Thiago Santos ( -160 )||Johnny Walker ( +140 )|
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Thiago Santos vs. Johnny Walker Betting Analysis
Thiago Santos is an interesting case study for the light heavyweight division. Unable to gain traction after years of work in the middleweight realm, Santos made the move up to 205 in 2018 and promptly barnstormed the place, rattling off three impressive knockouts, including a stoppage of current champion Jan Blachowicz.
Those performances earned Santos a title shot where he gave long-time champion Jon Jones hell for five rounds, despite blowing out both his knees during the fight. Yet, following the loss to Jones, Santos has come back to Earth and is on the cusp of being a flash in the pan at 205.
Santos is a standup fighter by trade as his moniker “Marreta,” which means Sledgehammer, would indicate. And never a truer name has there been for a fighter. Santos isn’t the world’s most beautiful striker but he swings hammers that can put anyone in the world to sleep if he connects. The issue is connecting, and in his last two fights Marreta has been extremely tentative with his offense, perhaps as a result of having double knee surgery.
On the other side of things, no man has ever described Johnny Walker as tentative. Walker rose to prominence as an all-action wild-man who scored knockouts with flying knees and spinning back-fists and even after suffering a pair of losses, not much has changed. Walker is still more than willing to engage in a crazy brawl as his last fight showed, and he still packs a big punch.
Santos vs. Walker Best Bet
Simply put, Thiago Santos’ biggest issue in his last few fights was hesitancy. Santos has looked to counter far too much and when an opponent isn’t pushing the action on him, it’s resulted in some poor performances.
Against Johnny Walker, that won’t be an issue. Walker is going to make a fight of this early and in a straight-up gun battle, Santos packs the bigger artillery. Santos by KO/TKO is +105 on FanDuel and thus worth a bet on your sports betting app.
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Other Bets To Consider At UFC Vegas 38
Kevin Holland vs. Kyle Daukaus: Every once in a while the UFC puts together some truly excellent matchmaking and this is one of those times. In his last two fights, Kevin Holland has had porous takedown defense that resulted in bad losses for one of the UFC’s rising stars.
So now the UFC has booked him against an opponent who will wrestle, but isn’t nearly as effective at it. Daukaus has a paltry 29% takedown accuracy and that came against substantially worse fighters than Holland. I expect Holland to show much better takedown defense and win the fight through volume and aggression on the feet, so getting him at only -150 on FOX Bet is a steal.
Aspen Ladd vs. Macy Chiasson: In arguably the best fight on the card, top women’s bantamweights face off in a bout that could determine the next title challenger. Ladd is the consummate mixed martial artist, who blends striking and grappling exceedingly well.
Meanwhile, Chiasson is still an unfinished prospect who has succeeded in large part due to being a superior athlete. This will be a bridge too far for Chiasson’s physicality and so I love a bet on Ladd by Decision at +140 on FanDuel and a play on Fight To Go The Distance at -152 at the same site .