Results Update: Walker wins by TKO. He connected on a huge right that caused Craig to go to the mat and then rained down hammer fists before the stoppage in the first round.
Johnny Walker knockout pic.twitter.com/19wpaQZFyx— Charlie Quinn (@CharlieQuinnMMA) January 22, 2023
UFC 283 is set to get going this weekend from Jeunesse Arena in Rio De Janerio, Brazil on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 10 p.m. ET. There is a five-bout main card that will open with ranked light heavyweights Paul Craig and Johnny Walker.
It’s an interesting position here for Craig (16-5-1), who was one step from being in the main event and actually beat one participant in the main event, Jamahal Hill, at UFC 263. The submission specialist comes into the fight off a decision loss to Volkan Oezdemir, which is why he is opening the main card instead of closing it. Walker (19-7) is a popular high-risk/high-reward style fighter that has seen seven of his past nine fights end inside of a round. He has lost four of six, but remains a fan favorite and would love to get a win this week in his home country.
How to watch Paul Craig vs. Johnny Walker
Date: Saturday, January 21
Fight time: Main card starts at 10 p.m. ET
Live stream: ESPN+ PPV
DraftKings Sportsbook Odds/Predictions
Splits: 48% of handle, 56% of bets on Walker
Thirteen of Craig’s wins have come by submission while 15 of Walker’s wins have been by knockout. Both guys feel like they need a win here or they will officially be shuttered into gatekeeper status. Walker can grapple and win exchanges in the clinch, but he doesn’t want to make too many mistakes that Craig can capitalize on. The more Craig has success early in the fight, the more he is willing to do and if Craig is feeling it, this could be a very entertaining fight in standup and on the ground. Walker’s question mark will be around his endurance and how much energy he’ll have if the fight gets past the opening round. As long as Craig can get a good feel for Walker’s game plan early and weather the storm, he’ll get a 14th submission win.