Anthony Smith

In a battle of always exciting but rarely predictable fighters, #5 ranked Anthony “Lionheart” Smith takes on #7 ranked Johnny Walker at UFC on ABC 4 this weekend.

Smith, now 34 years old, with a 36-17 professional record, 11-7 UFC record, and is 3-2 in his last 5 fights. In the UFC, 10 of his 11 wins have come inside the distance and 4 of his 7 losses have followed suit.

Walker is 31 years old with a 20-7 professional record, is 6-4 in the UFC, and is also 3-2 in his last 5 fights. All 6 of Walker’s UFC wins have come inside the distance and 2 of his 4 losses have come via knockout.

Smith vs. Walker is the co-main event bout on this Saturday night’s UFC on ABC 4 event. If you’re looking to place a bet on the fights this weekend, sign up to MyBookie using our special link and you can get a sign-up bonus worth up to $1,000 for this event.

Betting Odds

The odds have remained at nearly pick’em all week.

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Fight Breakdown

Smith is a well-rounded offensive fighter and a struggling defensive fighter. Offensively, Smith has a decent jab which he throws often and from odd angles. He regularly follows his jab up with a deceptively powerful cross and then will follow that momentum into the clinch. The basic 1, 2, then clinch technique has become increasingly popular among well-rounded fighters; but, because of the popularity, all that more predictable.

As seen in his recent losses, the higher level fighters Smith faces are able to time and counter his striking to grappling strategy with regular success. It seems that in nearly every one of Smith’s fights, he gets wobbled, dropped, or nearly finished. But, as his nickname implies, Smith can rally with the best of them and tends to be the most dangerous when his heart and toughness are tested. More likely than a switch being flipped in his mind, Smith is someone who thrives in chaos in the cage.

Because of his power, his strong submission game, and his toughness, Smith excels in moments of uncertainty when technique is abandoned for heart and will. That is not to say Smith is without technique, his striking is off-beat but technical, and his wrestling and grappling are aggressive and leave holes but still technical as well.

However, Smith his at his best in pandemonium. The issue with Smith’s propensity for violence and success in chaos is that he is often the one who gets hurt to initiate the mayhem. This forces Smith to fight from behind and better fighters have been able to squash his rally before it begins.

Just like Smith, Walker is an exciting offensive fighter but is a struggling defensive one. Walker is massive for the division, incredibly athletic, and hits with real power. Despite his recent submission win, Walker is typically a stand up brawler who relies on a speed and power advantage over his opponents. He tends to push a volatile pace in round 1, resulting in a kill or be killed style.

Basically, in many of Walker’s fights, if he lands his power shot first, he wins emphatically; if not, he is often the one being woken up by smelling salts. Breaking his brawling style down further, Walker prefers to be a counter striker. He tends to back up to the black line on the Canvas, use his long push kick to keep distance and force his opponent to dangerously rush in, and then counter with his own devastating strike.

Opponents who can more carefully enter the pocket, tend to be the ones who give Walker problems. He typically needs an overeager opponent to land his counter shot; but, if he does, he really can end a fight quickly.

Prediction and Betting Guide

Because the only predictable aspect with Smith and Walker is each of them fight all out for the finish, my best bet is under 1.5 rounds (-140). Both men have chin issues, both have legit power, and both have a tendency to forgo their defense in favor of offense.

As far as a fighter pick goes, I side with Smith. I think the market is over-correcting a bit as they react to Walker’s back-to-back wins. He beat fighters who play perfectly into his game plan.

Meanwhile, even though Smith puts himself in dangerous positions, he should be an intelligent and capable enough striker to safely enter range and deal his own damage against Walker.

Best Bet: Under 1.5 rounds (-140 at MyBookie)

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