Two of the most explosive knockout artists in the UFC light heavyweight division will go to battle this weekend.
Thiago Santos and Johnny Walker meet Saturday in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas — and it would be shocking if the bout between the two natives of Brazil goes to decision. This main event has major meaning in the 205-pound division.
ESPN has Santos ranked No. 10 in the world at light heavyweight and Walker is trying to ascend the ladder. Both men were born in Rio de Janeiro, but train elsewhere — Santos out of Florida’s American Top Team and Walker at SBG Ireland, the home gym of Conor McGregor.
Santos (21-9) is tied for the second most KO/TKOs in UFC history with 11. “Marreta” has dropped three straight following four straight wins, but one of those losses came against then-champion Jon Jones in a 2019 UFC light heavyweight title fight in which Santos blew out both of his knees. Santos, 37, is still looking for his first victory since surgery. He is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Aleksandar Rakic at UFC 259 in March.
Walker (18-5) is coming off a huge first-round knockout over Ryan Spann in September 2020. He has had only two decisions in his pro career, but has won all four of his UFC bouts via finish. Walker, 29, was considered a bright prospect before back-to-back losses to Corey Anderson and Nikita Krylov in 2019 and 2020.
In the co-main event, Kevin Holland will meet Kyle Daukaus in a matchup of up-and-coming middleweights. Holland (21-7), a 28-year-old Texas resident, is trying to bounce back from two straight losses, which followed a fantastic five-fight winning streak in 2020. Daukaus (10-2), a 28-year-old from Philadelphia, has dropped two of three in the UFC after holding the Cage Fury FC middleweight title.
Also on the card, exciting welterweights Alex Oliveira and Niko Price face off, former title challenger Bethe Correia takes on fellow Brazilian Karol Rosa and Antonina Shevchenko, sister of champion Valentina Shevchenko, meets top prospect Casey O’Neill in a women’s flyweight bout.
Follow the action live with recaps and analysis Marc Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim or watch the fights on ESPN+.
Coming up next:
Women’s bantamweight: Shanna Young (8-4, 0-1 UFC; +120) vs. Stephanie Egger (5-2, 0-1 UFC; -140)
Men’s bantamweight: Alejandro Perez (23-8-1, 8-3-1 UFC) def. Johnny Eduardo (28-13, 3-5 UFC) by second-round submission (armbar)
Full recap to come.
Still to come:
Light heavyweight: Thiago Santos (21-9, 13-8 UFC, -155) vs. Johnny Walker (18-5, 4-2 UFC, +130)
Middleweight: Kevin Holland (21-7, 8-4 UFC -165) vs. Kyle Daukaus (10-2, 1-2 UFC, +140)
Welterweight: Alex Oliveira (22-10-1 1 NC, 11-8 1 NC UFC, +160) vs. Niko Price (14-5 2 NC, 6-5 2 NC UFC, -190)
Middleweight: Misha Cirkunov (15-6, 6-4 UFC, +125) vs. Krzysztof Jotko (22-5, 9-5 UFC, -150)
Lightweight: Alexander Hernandez (12-4, 4-3 UFC, -550) vs. Mike Breeden (10-3, 0-0 UFC, +400)
Lightweight: Joe Solecki (11-2, 3-0 UFC, -135) vs. Jared Gordon (17-4, 5-3 UFC, +115)
Women’s flyweight: Antonina Shevchenko (9-3, 3-3 UFC, +180) vs. Casey O’Neill (7-0, 2-0 UFC, -220)
Women’s bantamweight: Bethe Correia (11-5-1, 5-5-1 UFC, +400) vs. Karol Rosa (14-3, 3-0 UFC, -550)
Lightweight: Jamie Mullarkey (13-4, 1-2 UFC, +125) vs. Devonte Smith (11-2, 3-1 UFC, -150)
Men’s featherweight: Douglas Silva de Andrade (26-4, 4-4 UFC, -260) vs. Gaetano Pirrello (15-6-1, 0-1 UFC, +210)
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