Anthony Smith vs. Johnny Walker – Thoughts and Prediction
Johnny Walker and Anthony Smith will serve as this weekend’s co-main event at UFC Charlotte and fans and media members are excited for the fight.
The fight is not the main event, but it is safe to make the argument that it is the people’s main event.
Ahead of the fight, let’s take a deeper look at the matchup with a breakdown and a prediction. (The breakdown and prediction and also be seen in the video above.)
Both Smith and Walker are well known and are considered fan favorites as they are always fighting in big matchups, on main cards or even fighting in main events.
The two are also trying to creep closer to a title shot and the winner should be able to do that as the two are ranked fifth and seventh within the official UFC light heavyweight rankings.
Smith is a former title challenger and he’s posted victories in three of his last four fights. In his last outing, he suffered a loss to Magomed Ankalaev, but that’s a loss that isn’t bad on the record as Ankalaev fought for the UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 282 and many felt he should have won the title that night.
Meanwhile, Walker has looked great since 2022. He started that year off on losing end of a viral knockout. That loss, like Smith’s loss, isn’t a bad one as it was now UFC light heavyweight champion Jamahal Hill who knocked Walker out.
Walker rebounded nicely from that loss as he is coming off back-to-back stoppage wins over Ion Cutelaba and Paul Craig.
Earlier in the week, Walker spoke to MyMMANews in an interview in which he credits those wins to the work he’s been putting in at SBG Ireland and he said just now, in his last two fights, that things are finally starting to click and sink in from his new gym and he’s now a complete fighter.
Tale of the Tape
Lots of upside to Walker when you view the tale of the tape. He’s younger, taller and longer.
Smith is big himself, but it’s rare to see him being smaller inside of the octagon.
Walker will come into the fight with a six-inch reach advantage and if Smith is going to brawl and make things a dog fight like he likes to, he may have to eat a few shots coming in.
Prediction: Johnny Walker wins
Oddsmakers are torn. As of Tuesday, DraftKings, Fan Duel and Unibet have the fight as a pick ‘em fight. Sport Betting pretty much has the has a pick ‘em, but Walker has the slight edge in their eyes.
For me, I like Walker to get the win here.
Sure there’s the upside in the tale of the tape, but that’s not just it for me.
Walker just seems to be finally coming into his own.
There was a time that many media members and fans had him pegged as a future champ, but then he lost four out of five fights.
Those day maybe over with now thanks to SBG Ireland. Walker said it earlier in the week that everything he’s been learning from the great coaches in that gym are finally starting to click.
He feels like a complete fighter for the first time in his career and you saw that in his last two outings as he’s gotten it done on the feet and on the ground.
Not only that, but look at his personal life right now. He was recently married, and he’s never been happier there as well.
A great mix between work life and personal life is a big thing in a professional athlete’s career. Does it mean its a slam dunk win? No. But it just seems like all roads are leading towards a Walker win and the Brazilian reentering the top five.