UFC Fight Night 193: Santos vs Walker Predictions

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UFC Fight Night 193: Santos vs Walker Predictions & Results

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Uh oh. Aspen Ladd fails to enter the octagon once again during 2021, extending her absence out of the cage to two years now. A brutal weight cut left Ladd shaking on the scales in disturbing footage, a common theme throughout Ladd’s young career. It’s a shame that we don’t get to see the brutal stand-up violence between Ladd and Macy Chiasson, but there isn’t much the big Louisianan can do. The rest of UFC Fight Night 193 is a cracking little card, even with a strange joke of a main event.

Failed to catch the action from the last UFC? No worries. Peep our preview from las week via UFC 266: Volkanovski vs Ortega Predictions. Prefer a review of the event to jog the memory? Read MAFB: UFC 266 Review.

Unconvinced by Pintsized’s mystical predicting powers? Take a look at our prediction success last month detailed in UFC Predictions Results: August 2021.

Can the gritty Aussie, Jamie Mullarkey, score another flash knockout? | UFC Fight Night 193: Santos vs Walker
Can the gritty Aussie, Jamie Mullarkey, score another flash knockout? | UFC Fight Night 193: Santos vs Walker

UFC Fight Night 193: Main Event

Thiago Santos (21-9) vs Johnny Walker (18-5)

Light Heavyweight (205)

Thiago Santos

A three-fight slide for a thirty-seven-year-old is usually career-ending, but there is great belief that Thiago Santos can turn it all around. Aside from bitter injuries and a dreadful run of form, Santos has a pop in his strikes that will forever carry into the twilight of his career. Santos’ ability to lead with a jab and control the distance may well prove the key to victory. If, as expected, Santos can ride an early wave of pressure in the first round, the former title challenger gains a huge upper hand. A tired Walker will overextend into counters, or perhaps, more importantly, allow Santos to out-wrestle Walker.

Let us not forget that Santos’ last victory was a knockout over Jan Blachowicz, current LHW champion. Fighting off the back-foot and countering a lunging Blachowicz, the technical superiority of Santos in Saturday’s match-up is stark. Early career Santos was a brawler, however, and there is a possibility that Walker drags the dog out of Santos. It is unlikely considering the wealth of experience that Santos owns, but Walker’s wildly exposed striking defence often coaxes opponents into dropping their game plan and chasing an easy finish.

Johnny Walker

This marks the first huge step-up in quality for Walker. A true athletic elite, it is such a shame that Walker fights with such a lack of structure. Jumping between gyms, failing to fight behind calculated game plans and a lack of fundamental approach to a fight – Walker continues to frustrate fans. A freakishly powerful striker whose over-zealous striking often draws opponents into wild brawls. While the Brazilian lacks the chin to engage in extended fire-fights, he remains set on trading 50/50 as he backs his power to be the equaliser.

The common belief is correct in the preview of this fight. Walker needs to find a finish early or his gas tank will be exposed, Santos will outclass him on the feet or mat, or Santos will crack Walker’s paper chin. Sure, Walker proved his heart and recovery against Ryan Spann as he found a comeback knockout following two knockdowns. Spann is nowhere near the same technical or power threat of Santos. Somewhat tongue in cheek, but Walker needs to go crazy in the first round and catch Santos unaware. The speed differential lies with Walker early. The 6’6″ monster needs to use his long frame in typically unorthodox manners – head kicks, spinning backfists, flying knees, etc. Through unorthodox single power shot selection, Santos will struggle to time Walker in the opening sequences and his declining explosiveness may be unable to react to Walker in time.

Predicted Result: Santos TKO Round 2

Santos’ ability to lead with a jab and control the distance may well prove the key to victory. If, as expected, Santos can ride an early wave of pressure in the first round, the former title challenger gains a huge upper hand. A tired Walker will overextend into counters, or perhaps, more importantly, allow Santos to out-wrestle Walker.

Somewhat tongue in cheek, but Walker needs to go crazy in the first round and catch Santos unaware. The speed differential lies with Walker early. The 6’6″ monster needs to use his long frame in typically unorthodox manners – head kicks, spinning backfists, flying knees, etc. Through unorthodox shot selection, Santos will struggle to time Walker in the opening sequences and his declining explosiveness may be too slow to react to Walker.

Result: Santos def. Walker // Decision (unanimous – 48-47, 48-47, 48-47)

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

Whatever the result, Johnny Walker comes to entertain | UFC Fight Night 193: Santos vs Walker
Whatever the result, Johnny Walker comes to entertain | UFC Fight Night 193: Santos vs Walker

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UFC Fight Night 193: Co-Main Event

Kevin Holland (21-7) vs Kyle Daukaus (10-2)

Middleweight (185)

Kevin Holland

There’s no denying that Holland is the superior striker in this match-up. Daukaus utilises his striking well to piece into his grappling, but Holland as a pure striker is levels above. Trailblazer isn’t the savviest dictator of distance, but with a 5″ reach advantage he has more than enough knowledge and quality to keep Daukaus on the end of his length. If Daukaus is willing to eat shots to get inside, Holland’s slick head movement opens up opportunities to land hurtful shots. While Holland was fortunate to have his hand raised against Darren Stewart, Trailblazer still found great success on the inside during the final exchanges.

It isn’t as much that Holland is terrible at keeping himself standing or surviving on the mat. The biggest issue is Holland’s comfort with fighting off his back. Neither Brunson nor Vettori had Holland in huge danger on the mat – you only need to re-watch the Till Brunson match to compare how effectively Holland negated Brunson’s weapons on the ground. Since moving gyms to AKA, even considering such a short time frame, it will bring mental and technical improvements to the weakest part of his game.

Kyle Daukaus

Younger brother of fast-rising heavyweight, Chris Daukaus, Kyle’s style aims to maintain a solid pace behind solid wrestling credentials. Whether Kyle’s takedowns are on a level necessary to get the better of Holland is questionable. Sure, Holland has a less than stellar TDD record in his last two fights, but he has a solid defence in the clinch and initial sprawl. Daukaus can tire down the stretch, therefore if he struggles to get his wrestling going early, there is a realistic chance he exhausts himself by the final round.

Daukaus is a durable fighter who needs to grit out an ugly decision against Holland. Holland’s height and size will be stripped away as Daukaus can match his physical might. Daukaus, however, needs to be proactive. Due to his rounded skillset, Kyle moves lackadaisically throughout a fight. Instead, Daukaus needs to push Holland back early – banking on his chin to eat a couple of significant shots to ensure Holland is crowded to the fence. If Daukaus is content to sit at range instead, Holland will piece him apart with educated straight shots and counters.

Predicted Result: Holland Decision

This has all the makings of a bitter split decision. Are Daukaus’ takedowns are on a level necessary to get the better of Holland? Even if sporadically successful, Daukaus tires late and there is a realistic chance he exhausts himself by the final round. Holland’s less than spectacular TDD and willingness to fight off his back also make the prediction more difficult.

On the feet, the skill disparity is far clearer. Sure, Daukaus is a durable fighter who could grit his teeth to close the distance. More likely is that Daukaus is content to sit at range, allowing Holland to dictate the pace, where Trailblazer’s powerful straight shots repeatedly land.

Result: 🚫 NO CONTEST (accidental clash of heads) 🚫
Even after being out-wrestled for most of the fight, Holland still tagged Vettori late with hurtful shots | UFC Fight Night 193: Santos vs Walker
Even after being out-wrestled for most of the fight, Holland still tagged Vettori late with hurtful shots | UFC Fight Night 193: Santos vs Walker

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UFC Fight Night 193: Main Card

Niko Price (14-5) vs Alex Oliveira (22-10-1)

Welterweight (170)

Niko Price

Well, Price is officially the gatekeeper of Welterweight. Despite cutting off the cage efficiently and peppering Pereira with (a rarely before seen) jabs late in the contest, Price just cannot employ a consistent boxing approach to fights. Price’s desire to secure highlight-reel knockouts leave him wide open to damage, yet this is what has built his career and hype. Taking hugely risky opportunities has seen Price fall to Abdul Razak Alhassan but also knockout James Vick and Tim Means. Of greatest importance in this fight are Price’s durability and deeper gas tank. Once Price starts to pressure on the feet, Oliveira will be forced to grind Niko against the cage. The Brazilian no longer has the tank to maintain it for three rounds, without considering Price’s decent defensive grappling.

Alex Oliveira

A once fine physical specimen has fallen onto hard times after falling off the athletic cliff of old age. Perhaps a greater issue has been match-ups for the Brazilian. Oliveira excels on the outside, yet has been forced to fight longer and faster fighters in his last two bouts. Price is weirdly durable, but his leaky striking defence is wide open for Oliveira to filter through hard shots early. If the Brazilian still has his killer instinct, Oliveira may be able to force the referee to intervene.

Predicted Result: Price Decision

Of greatest importance in this fight are Price’s durability and deeper gas tank. Once Price starts to pressure on the feet, Oliveira will be forced to grind Niko against the cage. The Brazilian no longer has the tank to maintain it for three rounds, and that’s without considering Price’s decent defensive grappling. Still, Oliveira has a shout to win early. Price is weirdly durable, but his leaky striking defence is wide open for a fresh Oliveira.

Result: Price def. Oliveira // Decision (unanimous – 29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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Misha Cirkunov (15-6) vs Krzysztof Jotko (22-5)

Middleweight (185)

Misha Cirkunov

Right. First things first. Cirkunov at Middleweight? The man is going to look like a literal barrel in the octagon. For a fighter with such immense power and wrestling threat, it is terrible to see the Canadian so gun shy. Johnny Walker, Ryan Spann and Volkan Oezdemir all stopped Cirkunov easily. Jotko doesn’t carry a similar one-shot knockout power as the aforementioned, yet the mental demons may well still plague Cirkunov. A hard weight cut could drain the Candian’s durability further, or it could lead to resisting greater damage from lighter opponents. That is yet to be seen. Cirkunov will struggle to find takedowns against swifter opponents at 185, but once on the mat, his oppressive top game will pay huge dividends.

Krzysztof Jotko

Ugh. There are reasons to like Jotko. The Pole possesses a lovely jab, decent eye for a counter and defensive grappling, but he just isn’t fun to watch. After a couple of knockouts to Uriah Hall and Brad Tavares, Jotko further reeled in his already patient, risk-averse style. Without the power or speed to terrify Cirkunov, he will constantly be back-pedalling. Cirkunov has clubbing power but Jotko should have enough defensive savvy to keep himself safe on the feet. In regards to wrestling, however, Cirkunov’s strength and technical advantages should be backed.

Predicted Result: Cirkunov Decision

There are reasons to like Jotko. The Pole possesses a lovely jab, decent eye for a counter and defensive grappling, but he just isn’t fun to watch. Without the power or speed to terrify Cirkunov, he will constantly be back-pedalling. Jotko will likely be safe enough boxing off the back-foot, but Cirkunov’s strength and wrestling edge are too important to ignore. Cirkunov may well struggle to find takedowns against swifter opponents at 185, but once on the mat, his oppressive top game will pay huge dividends.

Result: Jotko def. Cirkunov // Decision (split – 28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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Alexander hernandez (12-4) vs Mike Breeden (10-3)

Lightweight (155)

Alexander Hernandez

Hernandez’s career has been a real shame to follow. Hyped beyond belief after a shock first-round late-notice knockout over Beneil Dariush, Hernandez has yo-yoed between top Lightweights and relative cans. How you can sandwich Chris Gruetzemacher in between fights with Thiago Moises and Drew Dober is maddening match-making. Leonardo Santos pulled out this weekend, thus a step-down in Breeden, but at least this time is understandable. Hernandez has finally returned to his wrestling roots, slowly reviving the confidence that Donald Cerrone shattered in brutal fashion a couple of years back.

Mike Breeden

Late-notice opponent, Mike Breeden, is up against in this affair. Breeden is a technically competent boxer, but he is happy to take his time in finding the finish. While Breeden is unlikely to shock Hernandez early, there is still a comical scenario where an unfit Breeden pulls away late because of Hernandez’s dreary gas tank. A leaky striking defence and total inexperience against solid competition indicate this will only end in a Hernandez victory, however.

Predicted Result: Hernandez TKO Round 2

Hernandez has finally returned to his wrestling roots, slowly reviving the confidence that Donald Cerrone shattered in brutal fashion a couple of years back. Late-notice opponent, Mike Breeden, is a technically competent boxer, but he is happy to take his time in finding the finish. A leaky striking defence and total inexperience against solid competition indicate this will only end in a Hernandez victory. Maybe Breeden finds a late finish due to Hernandez’s questionable gas tank – but Breeden hasn’t had a full camp to prepare.

Result: Hernandez def. Breeden // KO (punch) Round 1 1:20

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ❌

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UFC Fight Night 193: Preliminary Card

Joe Solecki (11-2) vs Jared Gordon (17-4)

Lightweight (155)

Joe Solecki

An exceptional wrestler, Solecki is going to struggle at times against Gordon. Sure, Gordon can be taken down somewhat easily, but for Solecki to gain a huge upper hand on the mat is quite the task. Solecki has an athletic advantage, but he has never faced a pressure first pace fighter such as Gordon. Whether Solecki’s boxing holds up to Gordon’s swarming volume will help us gauge just how far Solecki could go in the sport.

Jared Gordon

Finally moving up to Lightweight after a series of weight troubles at 145lsb, Gordon will be losing some of his physical prowess. Against Solecki, however, Gordon’s game plan remains the same. Apply an unforgiving pace that pushes Solecki to exhaustion and pushes the prospect to make mistakes. It’s a tough match-up to assess as it is literally a litmus paper test – does the prospect possess the composure to overcome an uncomfortable, experienced opponent?

Predicted Result: Solecki Decision

Gordon can be taken down somewhat easily, but for Solecki to gain a huge upper hand on the mat is quite the task. Solecki has an athletic advantage, but he has never faced a pressure first pace fighter such as Gordon. It’s a tough match-up to assess as it is literally a litmus paper test – I’m favouring the prospect to possess the composure necessary to overcome an uncomfortable, experienced opponent.

Result: Gordon def. Solecki // Decision (split – 28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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Antonina Shevchenko (9-3) vs Casey O’Neill (7-0)

Women’s Flyweight (125)

Antonina Shevchenko

I long for the day we no longer have to watch Antonina ride her sister’s coattails into surviving every UFC cut. It would appear the match-makers are happy enough to start feeding the worse Shevchenko to prospects. The technical understanding is clear when Shevchenko fights, but awful decision making and average athleticism often leaves her lost. Without a clear approach or game plan, Antonina is best described as Roxanne Modafferi technical base with Johnny Walker’s decision making.

Casey O’Neill

Casey O’Neill hasn’t shone too brightly in the UFC yet, but her aggressive takedown pursuits have been more than enough in her early career. Antonina is alright off her back, but opponents who wrestle Shevchenko often find the win. O’Neill has to be careful not to trade on the outside against the sharper technicals of Shevchenko, as well as safety in the clinch. Shevchenko has solid trips, while she could also replicate Lara Procopio’s striking success in the clinch.

Predicted Result: O’Neill Decision

Casey O’Neill hasn’t shone too brightly in the UFC yet, but her aggressive takedown pursuits have been more than enough in her early career. Antonina is alright off her back, but opponents who wrestle Shevchenko often find the win. Antonina’s technical edge may garner the judge’s eyes, but her consistently awful decision making will likely see her lose once again.

Result: O’Neill def. Shevchenko // TKO (punches) Round 2 4:47

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

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Karol Rosa (14-3) vs Bethe Correia (11-5-1)

Women’s Bantamweight (135)

Karol Rosa

Rosa is burning hot in the UFC, currently sitting on a perfect 3-0 record with the organisation. A powerful, wily striker on the feet, Rosa stripped away Joselyn Edwards length with violent leg kicks. Better yet, Rosa hits reactive takedowns and smothers opponents to keep total control over the scorecards. Regardless of where the fight goes, Rosa has the edge.

Bethe Correia

Hahaha. This isn’t the kindest match-up for Correia. An ancient thirty-eight-year-old who struggled with Pannie Kianzad last time out, this is a huge ask for the limited striker. Through sheer durability, Correia’s stiff movement occasionally allows her boxing to kickstart. Aside from the old clubbing overhand and dirty boxing, Bethe is a fighter from a dead era.

Predicted Result: Rosa Decision

Rosa is burning hot in the UFC. It’s no wonder as the powerful, wily striker stripped away Joselyn Edwards length with violent leg kicks last time out. Rather than trade with the ancient Bethe Correia, Rosa will likely hit reactive takedowns and smother Correia to keep total control over the scorecards.

Result: Rosa def. Correia // Decision (unanimous – 30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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Jamie Mullarkey (13-4) vs Devonte Smith (11-2)

Lightweight (155)

Jamie Mullarkey

It was a pleasure to see Mullarkey finally break into the win column in the UFC. A spectacular knockout over Khama Worthy may be somewhat expected, knowing Worthy’s early-round durability woes, but Mullarkey’s bread and butter remains his durability. The Aussie walks opponents down on the back of his chin, with surprisingly educated pressure. A lack of notable athleticism will cap Mullarkey’s ceiling, but he can certainly break prospects late who are unwilling to be dragged deep into fights.

Devonte Smith

Smith is a quality striker, with a clear technical and athletic advantage, that should be able to keep Mullarkey at the end of his reach. Regularly throughout his career, Smith has showcased a wonderful jab despite only possessing a 76″ reach. Smith has shown the smarts to wrestle when feeling the pressure off his back-foot or positionally in the octagon. While Smith fell to John Gunther, basically a stripped-down Mullarkey, it was a few years ago and very early in the prospect’s career. If Smith’s TDD holds up, he should pip Mullarkey in a tough fight.

Predicted Result: Smith Decision

A lack of notable athleticism will cap Mullarkey’s ceiling, yet the Aussie’s stellar chin and relentless pressure can drag prospects into deep waters and break them. Smith, however, is a quality striker who should be able to keep Mullarkey at the end of his reach. While Smith fell to John Gunther, basically a stripped-down Mullarkey, it was a few years ago and very early in the prospect’s career. If Smith’s TDD holds up, he should pip Mullarkey in a tough fight.

Result: Mullarkey def. Smith // TKO (punches) Round 2 2:51

Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

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Douglas Andrade (26-4) vs Gaetano Pirrello (15-6-1)

Bantamweight (135)

Douglas Andrade

A hard-hitter for the weight class, Andrade is a stocky fridge who will defy age in a favourable stylistic match-up. Granted, Andrade is having to cut extra weight by moving to Bantamweight, but his ferocious front-foot volume is primed to break Pirrello physically and mentally.

Gaetano Pirrello

This feels like a stylistic nightmare for the Belgian. Ricky Simon pieced apart Pirrello with combinations, finding out by the second round that 3+ shot combinations break Pirrello’s guard. Andrade is a furious volume striker and will physically overwhelm Pirrello. This has all the potential to end with violent beauty.

Predicted Result: Andrade TKO Round 1

A hard-hitter for the weight class, Andrade is a stocky fridge who will defy age in a favourable stylistic match-up. Granted, Andrade is having to cut extra weight by moving to Bantamweight, but his ferocious front-foot volume is primed to break Pirrello physically and mentally.

Result: Andrade def. Pirrello // KO (punch) Round 1 2:04

Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️

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Shanna Young (7-3) vs Stephanie Egger (5-2)

Women’s Bantamweight (135)

Shanna Young

The Shanimal is a class nickname, but Young is largely a durable force on the feet. Young was unable to showcase her kickboxing against the vastly superior Macy Chiasson, yet her striking is levels above Eggers. The issue is Young’s TDD and scrambles are awkward, and if Egger is to assume top position, there is little reason to believe Young possesses anything to get back to her feet.

Stephanie Egger

I think the biggest surprise in Egger’s UFC debut was surviving till the final bell. A solid enough grappler, Egger lacks experience despite her thirty-three years of age. There is almost no chance that Egger can refine her awful boxing, but her wrestling and top control is decent. I’m being liberal with the compliments as this truly is the bottom of the barrel for Women’s Bantamweight – a dead division at the top.

Predicted Result: Egger Decision

A solid enough grappler, Egger lacks experience despite her thirty-three years of age. Young’s durability won’t face heavy fire against the awfully sloppy hands of Egger, yet her TDD certainly will. The kickboxer’s awkward scrambles will struggle under the sustained wrestling pressure from Egger, and will likely fall in a dreadfully sloppy fight.

Result: Egger def. Young // TKO (elbow) Round 2 2:22

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

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Alejandro Perez (21-8-1) vs Johnny Eduardo (28-12)

Bantamweight (135)

Alejandro Perez

The Mexican has been a long stable at the UFC but hasn’t featured for a couple of years. The split decision machine tends to overwhelm opponents with volume and nullify an opponent’s strengths. After suffering a knockout last time out to Yong Sadong, Perez will likely be slightly more tentative in the opening against Eduardo. Aside from Eduardo’s danger in the first round, Perez should be able to pull ahead late in the fight.

Johnny Eduardo

40+ years old! No one knows the specific age, but Eduardo is at least 41yrs old. A low-output counter striker, the old man carries silly power for the weight but he is athletically unable to set a scorecard winning pace. Durability has declined over age, and with most of his recent years as a coach at Nova Uniao, Eduardo is a difficult fighter to back despite occasions of brilliance in the past.

Predicted Result: Perez Decision

Eduardo’s age is unknown, as is his current state. A low-output counter striker, the old man carries silly power for the weight but he is athletically unable to set a scorecard winning pace. Perez may well be a split decision machine, yet his volume should see the Mexican pull ahead on the scorecards after a tricky first round.

Result: Perez def. Eduardo // Submission (scarf hold armlock) Round 2 4:13

Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌

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Prediction Accuracy

UFC Fight Night 193

Winner: 8/11

Method: 6/11

Round: 5/11

2021 MMA Season

Winner: 225/371

Method: 172/371

Round: 160/371

MMA Overall

Winner: 416/675

Method: 309/675

Round: 286/675

Takeaway comments: New mythical fighter – Feinting Johnny Walker


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