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UFC 298: VOLKANOVSKI vs. TOPURIA

Published on February 14, 2024
Updated on February 15, 2024
Derek DaSIlva
Written by Derek DaSIlva

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UFC 298: VOLKANOVSKI vs. TOPURIA

Undisputed UFC Featherweight Championship Bout

Date: Sat, Feb 18
Main Card Time: 11 PM ET
Location: Honda Center in Anaheim, CA
How to Watch Live: Order on UFC Fight Pass

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GO

BetMGM and Bet365 are offering competitive odds for UFC 298, including odds for major fights.

Tale of the Tape

(FW) 145 lbs(FW – C) Alexander Volkanovski(FW ) Ilia Topuria
Age3526
Height5’6″5’7″
Reach71.5″69″
StanceSwitchSwitch
CountryAustraliaGeorgia
UFC Record 26 – 3 -014 – 0 – 0
KO Rate52%31%
ML Odds*-148+124

Odds are accurate as of Jan 19.

Storylines & Moneylines

Alexander Volkanovski (-125)

Volk is one of the true workhorses of the UFC and a generational talent, make no mistake. Coming off a tough KO loss on two weeks’ notice against Islam Makhachev at 155, the Featherweight Champ is scheduled to defend his title against one of the meteoric risers, Ilia Topuria, in the division. What Volk has going for him is what’s always been. The man’s both calculated and aggressive. When you combine that with a bottomless gas tank, he more than compensates for the height advantage he gives up in almost every fight. Alex has one the highest paces in the division, landing 57% of significant strikes at a clip of 6.19 landed per minute. His switch stance gives him an additional axis’ of movement, as his ability to close distance and get back out has proved a problem for the majority of his opponents.

Ilia Topuria (+105)

Ilia’s rise is not at all a surprise. The German-born Georgian has been on a tear throughout his entire MMA career, coming at 14-0 at just 26 years old. Fighting out of Alicante, Spain, Ilia is probably the most technically sound striker in the division, at least when it comes to throwing hands. He lands at a more average rate of 4.44 Landed Per Min with 46% accuracy, but all 4.44 of those strikes are ill-intentioned. Topuria is one of few MMA fighters who mix up levels well during their punching combinations and sets up his overhand with a devastating lead uppercut to the body. Ilia puts everything into everything he throws, leaving questions about his gas tank walking into his first set of Championship Rounds. If that were all Ilia had to his game, you’d think he already be a problem. However, he’s cerebral on the ground finishing over 60% of fights on the ground despite a 90% takedown defense, meaning he doesn’t go down there unless he wants to.

Our Pick: Volkanovski Dec (+240)

If Ilia wins, it’d be by KO, but Volk is made of granite. Volk by KO/TKO is trading at +250 and a very feasible sweat.

Prediction

Based on resumes alone, of course, Volk is expected to come in here and take Topuria’s head off. That’s not impossible at all, and it may even be likely according to the books. However, Volk came off a shin-to-head just a few months ago. He only had two weeks’ notice before that fight and is fighting months later, which we’d imagine he had to be sick a few weeks on concussion protocol. It’s hard to believe we will get 100% of Volk in this bout, and Ilia is the young ladder stepper who often comes up to take the crown from the king when he’s down. Volk’s octagon generalship and Ilia’s gas tank will be the deciding factors in this fight. I believe Ilia will be a little thrown aback when he hits Volk with the kitchen sink, and he’s still there pressing well into the later rounds. We’ll find out if he is of championship stock or the next division Gate Keeper.

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Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER in CO, DC, IL, IN, KS, LA, MD, MS, NJ, NV, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, WY. Call 877-8-HOPENY or text HOPENY (467369) (NY). Call 1-800-327-5050 (MA). 21+ to wager. Please Gamble Responsibly. Call 1-800-NEXT-STEP (AZ), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-270-7117 for confidential help (MI), 1-800-981-0023 (PR). In partnership with Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel. Visit BetMGM.com for Terms & Conditions. US promotional offers not available in DC, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, Ontario or Puerto Rico.

Offer valid and must be physically present in AZ, CO, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, or WY. 21+. See Caesars.com/promos for full terms. Know When To Stop Before You Start.® Gambling Problem? IL, MD, NJ, OH, TN, VA, WV, PA: If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) or MD: visit mdgamblinghelp.org or WV: visit 1800gambler.net; AZ: Call 1-800-NEXT-STEP; CO, WY, KS: Call 1-800-522-4700; IN: Call 1-800-9-WITH-IT; IA: Call 1-800-BETSOFF; LA: Call 1-877-770-STOP; MI: Call 1-800-270-7117. GAMBLING PROBLEM? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. MA: CALL 1-800-327-5050 or visit gamblinghelplinema.org. NY: Call 877-8-HOPENY or text HOPENY (467369).

Must be 21+ and present in AZ, CO, IA, IL, IN, LA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, VA, or WV. Void Where Prohibited. T&C APPLY. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, Call 1-800-GAMBLER (CO, IL, OH, MD, NJ, PA, WV). Call 1-877-8HOPE-NY or Text HOPENY (467369) (NY), 1-800-NEXT-STEP (AZ), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-877-770-STOP (LA), 1-800-270-7117 (MI), 1-888-532-3500 (VA), or visit www.mdgamblinghelp.org (MD) and www.1800gambler.net (WV).

GAMBLING PROBLEM? CALL 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (CO/IL/IN/LA/MD/MI/NJ/OH/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY), (800) 327-5050 or visit gamblinghelplinema.org (MA). Call 877-8-HOPENY/text HOPENY (467369) (NY). Please Gamble Responsibly. Call 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (KS/NH), 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org (CT), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), or visit OPGR.org (OR). 21+ (18+ NH/WY). Physically present in AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/KS/LA(select parishes)/MA/MD/MI/NJ/NY/OH/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Void in NH/OR/ONT. Full T&Cs Apply.

21+. T&Cs Apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER

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Derek DaSIlva
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Derek DaSilva is a hobby fighter turned betting addict, I mean enthusiast. After a few years of figuring out he can’t compete in the sports he loved, he decided to throw his money at them. He focuses on Boxing, MMA, football, and basketball  (in that order) and his claim to betting fame is losing a 9-team parlay by half a point and a f****** yard… I’ll never forgive you Nick Chubb.

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