Saturday, September 19th
UFC Fight Night: Covington vs. Woodley
UFC APEX – Las Vegas, Nevada
A knockout artist meets a submission specialist as Johnny Walker attempts to put an end to Ryan Spann’s impressive winning streak. Will Walker produce another devastating finish or can Spann win his ninth fight in a row and leapfrog his opponent in the light heavyweight rankings?
Johnny Walker (17-5) is a former light heavyweight champion in the European Beatdown and Ultimate Challenge MMA organisations. After winning his UFC contract on Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS) Brazil in August 2018, Walker went on to win his first three UFC bouts by early KO/TKO in the first round, including a TKO against Justin Ledet in Brazil after 15 seconds and a TKO of Misha Cirkunov after 36 seconds coming within a month of each other in early 2019.
Walker’s nine fight win streak was ended as Corey Anderson consigned him to a TKO loss in round one at UFC 244, and Walker has now lost consecutive bouts for the first time in his career following his most recent appearance – a unanimous decision defeat by Nikita Krylov in Brazil back in March. Walker boasts 16 finishes from 17 professional fights with 14 coming by way of KO/TKO and 14 coming in the first round.
The Brazilian will want to keep the fight against Spann standing to avoid his opponent’s submission attempts and produce another spectacular KO to get his career back on track. Walker has an 82 inch reach and will hold an advantage of 3 inches in this respect against Spann; he will want to utilise this in order to keep his opponent at range.
Ryan Spann (18-5) is the former Legacy Fighting Alliance light heavyweight champion and former Hero FC middleweight champion. He appeared on DWCS twice, losing as a middleweight initially but returning at 205lbs and winning in series two to gain his UFC contract.
Wasting no time in making an impression, “Superman” has won all four of his UFC bouts including a KO and submission, and comes into this weekend on an eight fight winning run. His last fight was a split decision win against Sam Alvey at UFC 249.
Even though two of his four UFC bouts have been won by decision, Spann has finished 15 of his 18 professional wins, 13 times in the first round and 11 times by submission, seven coming by way of guillotine choke. Against the heavy-hitting Walker, Spann is likely to want to look for an opportunity to take the fight to the floor and lock in a submission, knowing a win would not only extend his impressive run of victories but also continue his rise up the light heavyweight rankings.
Prediction: Spann by decision.
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