UFC Betting Free Pick: Johnny Walker vs. Nikita Krylov
UFC FREE PICK: Johnny Walker vs. Nikita Krylov
#24118 Johnny Walker -140 (Saturday, March 14 @ 8:30 pm EST)
One of the best matches of this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 170 card will be a light heavyweight contest between Brazilian Johnny Walker (17-4) and Ukrainian Nikita Krylov (25-7). Johnny Walker took the MMA world by storm starting back in 2018 when he made his UFC debut. In his first three UFC fights, Walker scored three first round knockout victories in a total of 2:48, including two in under 37 seconds.
The Johnny Walker hype train was rolling until November of last year. Walker took on Corey Anderson in UFC 244 and Anderson caught Walker with a number of shots to the head before the match was ultimately called in Anderson’s favor. Anderson scored a knockout victory over Walker in just 2:07 of the first round. The Walker hype train quickly derailed.
Krylov may not be as popular of a fighter as Walker but he is certainly talented enough. Krylov has four first round finishes himself (two by KO and two by submission) with two of those coming inside the first minute of the fight. He was making his way up the UFC rankings with five straight victories before falling to Misha Cirkunov via first round submission.
Krylov left the UFC following that fight, choosing not to re-sign his contract. Nearly two years later, Krylov came back to the UFC to face Jan Blachowicz. After falling to Blachowicz, Krylov avenged an earlier loss to Ovince St. Preux with a second round submission. Krylov is coming off of a close contest against Glover Teixeira that ended in a split decision that didn’t go his way.
After getting knocked out by Anderson, there is no doubt Walker will draw back the theatrics a little bit as he starts his climb towards the top of the light heavyweight rankings again. The talent is there, but the ego and flashiness that helped garner fame was also his biggest weakness. After that humbling knockout, Walker should be looking to get down to business on Saturday as another loss this weekend would be a huge blow to his career.
Krylov is not to be taken lightly and you can be sure that Walker’s camp informed him of that. If Walker can fight to win instead of showing off, he should have no trouble in this bout. He owns the superior talent and has three-inch height and four-and-a half-inch reach advantages. Look for something you haven’t seen in the UFC before, a focused and determined Walker as opposed to the ring clown dancing around and playing to a crowd (which there won’t be one to play to anyways). The lack of people in the stands should also help Walker take this fight more seriously.
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