We’re set for another betting prediction and pick for UFC Saudi Arabia as we open the Main Card action in the Light Heavyweight (205) Division. Two ranked monsters will stand toe-to-toe as No. 7 Johnny Walker of Brazil takes on No. 9-ranked Volkan Oezdemir of Switzerland. You won’t want to miss this banger to open the Main Card! Check out our UFC odds series for our Walker-Oezdemir prediction and pick.

Johnny Walker (21-8) has gone 7-5-0-1 under the UFC since 2018. An original product of Dana White’s Contender Series, he’s been one of the most exciting and unpredictable fighters in the division. He went on a recent three-fight winning streak and most recently lost his rematch to Magomed Ankalaev, so he’s looking to protect his ranking and get back with a win. Walker stands 6’6″ with an 82-inch reach.

Volkan Oezdemir (19-7) has gone 7-6 in the UFC since 2017. He’s split his last six fights at 3-3, but he’s gone up against some of the toughest fighters in the division. He comes into this fight following an underdog win over Bogdan Guskov where he notched his first submission win in the UFC. He’s looking to continue his attack on the division as he tries to take down another contender. Oezdemir stands 6’2″ with a 75-inch reach.

Here are the UFC Saudi Arabia Odds, courtesy of BetOnline. 

UFC Saudi Arabia Odds: Johnny Walker-Volkan Oezdemir Odds

Johnny Walker: -105

Volkan Oezdemir : -115

Over 1.5 rounds: -155

Under 1.5 rounds: +125

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Why Johnny Walker Will Win

Johnny Walker had an opportunity to punch a ticket to a possible title-eliminator fight as he took on Magomed Ankalaev for their rematch following a ‘No Contest’ ruling. He didn’t look quite as sharp during their second meeting and it was clear he took too much damage on his chin from the opening round. Walker will be facing another dangerous puncher and will have to be much more careful against Oezdemir. Much like Ankalaev, his opponent can walk through punches and still continue to close the distance. Johnny Walker is the much better athlete and will have to use his skills in moving around the cage and stopping Oezdemir from landing clean.

Johnny Walker will have the reach advantage in this fight and he should look to check Oezdemir’s strikes with elbows in return. His leg kicks are also much more active than his opponent’s and he will have the immediate edge if he can limit Oezdemir’s movement by chopping down his legs. While he doesn’t attempt many of them, Johnny Walker has a 100% takedown rate in the UFC and can certainly put Oezdemir on his back if he decides to commit to it.

Why Volkan Oezdemir Will Win

Volkan Oezdemir has had a sort of career resurgence over the last few fights with impressive wins against Aleksandar Rakic and Paul Craig. His last win by submission was an unlikely one as his opponent had the apparent grappling advantage heading into the fight. Oezdemir has extremely heavy hands and he can turn the lights out in an instant. However, his speed isn’t quite up-to-par with Walker’s and he’ll have to focus more on landing clean and landing flush. If he’s able to stun Walker on his feet just once, he’ll have a great chance at the finish.

Volkan Oezdemir went to three-straight decisions prior to finishing his last fight, a feat Johnny Walker has only accomplished once over his last seven fights. Oezdemir would benefit most from stretching this fight out and waiting for the perfect moment to land clean on his opponent. Oezdemir can certainly take a punch better than Walker can, so don’t be surprised if he pressures early and starts crowding Johnny Walker to make a quick decision.

Final Johnny Walker-Volkan Oezdemir Prediction & Pick

Opening the Main Card in Saudi Arabia, this fight is bound to create some fireworks given the ability both men possess to end the fight in one punch. Johnny Walker is the better athlete out of the two and can find success if he’s able to remain in constant movement and pick his shots carefully against the power of Oezdemir. He’ll also have the advantage with his leg kicks and should look to use them in limiting his opponent’s mobility.

Volkan Oezdemir, on the other hand, we want to march Walker down and land the few strikes he needs to send Walker stumbling on his feet. It won’t take many clean shots for him to win this fight and it’ll be interesting to see how quickly he starts marching forward for the finish.

For our prediction, we’ll have to ride with Volkan Oezdemir to win this fight. I don’t expect many of Walker’s shots to affect Oezdemir too much and the shots coming back the other way could be more devastating. This will be a nail-biter throughout, but let’s side with the tested chin of Volkan Oezdemir.

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Final Johnny Walker-Volkan Oezdemir Prediction & Pick: Volkan Oezdemir (-115); OVER 1.5 Rounds (-155)