The UFC 294 main card is quite top-heavy, but we can't forget about a sneaky fun light heavyweight tussle between fan-favorite Johnny Walker and former title challenger Magomed Ankalaev.
Ankalaev and Walker will slug it out for three rounds on Oct. 21 at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. Ankalaev, who last fought at UFC 282, is a -400 favorite over Walker, who's riding a three-fight win streak.
Johnny Walker vs Magomed Ankalaev Betting Odds
Odds as of Oct. 20
Our odds calculator suggests Ankalaev's -400 odds equate to an implied win probability of 80%, meaning a $100 bet on him pays out $125. Walker's +300 underdog odds imply a 25% chance to win, and a $100 bet on him pays out $400.
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Walker vs Ankalaev Betting Preview: Odds Tell the full story... Sort Of
Walker should be the underdog in this fight. If it weren't for a lack of activity at UFC 282, Ankalaev could've easily been the UFC's light heavyweight champion.
But the Brazilian has changed things up since his last loss, and that should inspire Walker bettors.
How To Bet Walker
Before Walker put a royal beating on Ion Cutelaba at UFC 279, he proclaimed himself as a changed man. The big difference? Less marijuana and more time in the gym.
Under the guidance of head coach John Kavanagh (Conor McGregor's coach), the 31-year-old has greatly improved over his last three fights. Walker's striking looks more poised and he's using his length to better control the Octagon.
A composed Walker is a successful Walker, and that mantra will be extra important against Ankalaev's deadly wrestling offense. Kavanagh stresses jabs, low kicks, and forward pressure. If the Brazilian listens and marches across the Octagon for 15 minutes, he can score a huge upset.
At +300, Walker is easily the best underdog bet on the card. That's enough value. If you want a hail mary, bet on Walker to win by decision.
How to Bet Ankalaev
Folks forget how well-rounded Ankalaev is. Given his Dagestani heritage, the 31-year-old has great wrestling instincts, but his MMA roots come as a striker.
Ankalaev can fold anybody at 205 pounds or opt for a more methodical takedown and work-to-mount approach. Either could find success against Walker, especially if the Brazilian goes rogue and steers from his coach's gameplan.
I'm intrigued by a bet on Ankalaev to win by KO/TKO. That should chop away some of the chalk.
UFC 294: Johnny Walker vs Magomed Ankalaev Betting Pick
I'm betting Walker to win SU at +300. On top of that, I'll be playing the OVER 1.5, the fight to go the distance, and a small wager on Walker by decision.