JOHNNY WALKER VS. RYAN SPANN
In a light heavyweight matchup, Brazil’s Johnny Walker looks to end a two-fight slide against Ryan Spann, the Fortis MMA product who enters on an eight-fight winning streak.
It’s been a tale of two runs for Walker thus far in his UFC career. He started with three straight first-round stoppage wins, showcasing vicious power and undeniable charisma while laying out Khalil Rountree Jr., Justin Ledet, and Misha Cirkunov to climb the rankings and generate buzz as a potential threat to Jon Jones. Since then, however, the towering 28-year-old has lost two straight, first getting stopped by Corey Anderson, and then being out-wrestled by Nikita Krylov, to tumble back to the lower third of the light heavyweight rankings.
Spann’s journey to the UFC started with a 15-second loss on the first season of the Contender Series, which turned into the catalyst for his current run of success. The talented Texan posted three straight victories on the regional circuit, scored a quick finish of his own in his second appearance on the summer talent search in Las Vegas, and has since added four more triumphs inside the Octagon to his ledger, including a first-round knockout win over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in Rio de Janeiro at UFC 237.
With the division in the midst of a major shift, this is a crucial matchup for both men, as the victor will have the opportunity to climb into the Top 10 and begin to position themselves for a charge towards the top of the division in 2021.
Can Walker halt his slide and return to the form that had people buzzing about him earlier in his career or will Spann hand him another defeat while bringing his winning streak to nine on Saturday night?