An upcoming card that has a ton of top-flight talent, the UFC will take to the Honda Center this weekend for UFC 298, the company’s biggest event of February. In regards to UFC 298 betting, two matchups are expected as the main headliners of the event. In the top fight of the night, the UFC Featherweight Championship will be on the line as current champion Alexander Volkanovski takes on the challenger, Ilia Topuria. Meanwhile, the penultimate matchup of the night will pit former UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker against former title challenger, Paulo Costa. The pair were initially set to squad off back in April 2021, and again in February of last year, but contract disputes and illnesses kept the duo from locking horns.
In this report, SBS will be going over what to look for from each combatant, a predicted winner in each matchup, and also go over some more notes about UFC 298 betting.
|UFC 298 Main Event Bouts
|Ilia Topuria vs. Alexander Volkanovski (c)
|Paulo Costa vs. Robert Whittaker
Fighter Spotlight: Alexander Volkanovski
Recognized as the No. three overall fighter in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings as recently as October of last year, Volkanovski is a dynamic combatant. Before his UFC debut, the Australian champion competed as a professional boxer. With an overall record of 26-3, the champion has bested most of the featherweight division and done so in resounding fashion at times. With 13 knockout wins in his career, the Australian combatant has sensational power and is one of the most consistently strong fighters in the UFC. In terms of setbacks though, there are few you can point to when it comes to Volkanovski other than his Lightweight Championship fights against rival Islam Makhachev. Moving up a weight class, the duo’s clash at UFC 284 was recognized as the UFC Fight of the Year for 2023 with the Australian losing via unanimous decision in Perth.
Fighter Spotlight: Ilia Topuria
Noted as the No. 3 ranked contender in the UFC featherweight rankings, Topuria is a menacing presence in the featherweight rankings and has run roughshod through his opponents since entering the UFC in 2020. With three knockout wins in his UFC career already along with eight submission victories overall, the Georgian fighter has an unblemished MMA career mark of 14-0. Topuria is coming off three consecutive Fight of the Night/Performance of the Night outings, most recently, a unanimous decision win over Josh Emmett in June of last year. In the two bouts prior to that, he won via submission (arm-triangle choke) over Bryce Mitchell and then scored a KO victory over Jai Herbert. This however will be his biggest challenge to date against the champion.
Prediction: An extremely close battle, take Volkanovski to score the win here albeit not by much.
Fighter Spotlight: Robert Whittaker
A top fighter in the UFC Middleweight division, Whittaker is a top-five fighter in the division. A talented competitor, Whittaker became the interim middleweight champion after winning the title at UFC 213. He was then promoted to undisputed champion after Georges St-Pierre vacated the title in 2017. While he lost the title to Israel Adesanya at UFC 243, he has since accrued a record of 4-2, giving him an overall MMA mark of 24-7. However, he is coming off a hard-fought TKO loss to Dricus du Plessis at UFC 290 and is looking for a rebound performance as he tries to get back in the title fight picture. In his career, he has only lost back-to-back fights once, occurring back in 2013-14.
Fighter Spotlight: Paulo Costa
Our final contender spotlight, Costa is a powerful Brazilian fighter who is coming off a sensational unanimous decision win over Luke Rockhold at UFC 278. While it has been some time since he last competed back in August 2022, Costa is a formidable foe with an overall record in MMA of 14-2. Prior to his fight against Rockhold, he had lost two hard-fought bouts against Adesanya (TKO) and Marvin Vettori (unanimous decision). Regardless, he had accrued a perfect mark of 13-0 to that point in professional competitions and is one of the most powerful fighters in the division (11 career knockout wins).
Prediction: Another excellent bout, take Whittaker to win here by a nose over the dangerous Costa.
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