Light heavyweights Johnny Walker and Jamahal Hill will try to impress UFC brass with their flashy power as the new UFC Vegas 48 main event on Feb. 19 from inside the UFC’s APEX Center in Las Vegas.
The original UFC Vegas 48 main event was Rafael dos Anjos vs. Rafael Fiziev, but Fiziev’s visa issues forced the fight to be moved. Insert Walker vs. Hill.
Making his pro debut in 2013, Walker joined the UFC in 2018 via Dana White’s Contender Series. He is 5-3 with the promotion, but 1-3 in his last four fights. Walker last fought in October, losing to Thiago Santos via unanimous decision.
Another Contender Series alum, Hill made his professional debut in 2017. Joining the Contender Series in 2019, Hill is 4-1 with one no-contest in the UFC. The no-contest came from a win against Klidson Abreu that was overturned after Hill tested positive for marijuana. Hill defeated Jimmy Crute by KO in December. That win added another impressive name to his resume, joining Ovince Saint Preux.
UFC Vegas 48 odds for Johnny Walker vs. Jamahal Hill.
According to FanDuel sportsbooks, Walker is the +205 underdog, meaning a $100 bet will result in a $205 payout. Hill is the -265 favorite, meaning a $265 wager will result in a $100 payout.
Sports Interaction has Hill as a -240 favorite and Walker as a +175 underdog.
Johnny Walker vs. Jamahal Hill prediction.
It’s fair to say that Hill’s stats might be a bit inflated due to his lack of time in the octagon. He has landed 7.45 significant strikes per minute, with a 51% accuracy rate. Walker, the “veteran” of the two, has landed 3.42 significant strikes per minute and has a punching accuracy mark of 59%.
In his UFC career (eight fights), Walker has landed 204 punches. In six UFC fights, Hill has landed 281 punches, 101 of them against Darko Stosic in 2020. Three of the fights Hill has won (not counting the no-contest) have been by some form of knockout. Walker has won all but one of his UFC fights by knockout. Against heavyweights, Walker has struggled. Hill’s striking is not something to mess around with.
Walker has an advantage when it comes to fighting on the ground. He has a 62% takedown defense and a 0.7 submission average. While Walker has faced more wrestlers than Hill, Hill’s resume against the likes of OSP is impressive. Walker has been much more patient with his game, but his recent fights have shown that he may need to use his full arsenal to leave Las Vegas with a win.
The way these two fight, it wouldn’t be surprising if he doesn’t go the distance. The betting on him going the distance seems almost irrelevant. It comes down to the explosive nature of both fighters, and something has to give. Hill’s momentum can continue against Walker, who is at a bit of a crossroads early in his career.
As for the winner, the dynamic Walker has a lot at stake. Hill, the up-and-coming fighter, has momentum, and the fear of getting hit by him in any fight is always dangerous. Will Walker be able to avoid getting hit, or is the outcome inevitable?
Hopefully, Hill will come out all guns blazing.