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UFC 298 Tips – Volkanovski vs Topuria

Headlined by Ilia Topuria challenging Alexander Volkanovski for the UFC Featherweight Championship, the UFC 298 card showcases five great fights that include the likes of Robert Whittaker, Ian Machado Garry and Henry Cejudo.

UFC 297 Tips

Alexander Volkanovski (c) vs Ilia Topuria

Career Records:

Volkanovski – 26-3 (13 wins by KO/TKO)

Topuria – 14-0 (4 wins by KO/TKO)

Last Bouts: 

Volkanovski def by Makhachev – KO – UFC 294, October 2023

Topuria def Emmett – Decision (unanimous) – UFC on ABC: Emmett vs Topuria, June 2023

Analysis: 

After two losses to Islam Makachev in his past three fights, Alexander Volkanovski will return to the featherweight division to defend his title against the undefeated Illia Topuria. In what is set to be ‘Fight of the Night’, both fighters are undefeated in the featherweight division and either one could be set to register their first loss.

Considered the most formidable challenge of his title reign, his challenger has looked in amazing form coming through the ranks – one submission finish and three KOs in his past five fights in the UFC. The 27-year-old Topuria is undefeated in 14 fights and filled with confidence.

So far in his career, Volkanovski has beaten the likes of Jose Aldo, Max Holloway and The Korean Zombie (Jung Chan-sung); considering this, expect his experience to play a huge role in the fight and walk away with the victory via decision.

Best Now MATCH RESULT - ALEXANDER VOLKANOVSKI @ $1.80

Robert Whittaker vs Paulo Costa

Career Records:

Whittaker – 24-7 (9 wins by KO/TKO)

Costa – 14-2 (11 wins by KO/TKO)

Last Bouts: 

Whittaker def by du Plessis – TKO – UFC 290, July 2023

Costa def Rockhold – Decision (unanimous) – UFC 278, August 2022

Analysis: 

Alexander Volkanovski isn’t the only Australian on the card, with Sydney-raised former UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker going head-to-head with former title challenger Paulo Costa in the Octagon.

Although Whittaker has lost against Dricus du Plessis and Israel Adesanya recently, Paulo Costa has only competed three times in the past three years – his last fight being at UFC 278 in August – and his lack of in-ring time could prove crucial throughout the bout.

The Brazilian fighter is an orthodox striker and normally controls the fight with his takedowns. However, the question is, could he takedown Whittaker? One of the most well-rounded fighters in the UFC, Whittaker has a tremendous striking game and is also a great wrestler on the mat. Thus, Whittaker should be able to walk away with the victory but expect Costa to make it tough for him.

Best Now MATCH RESULT - ROBERT WHITTAKER @ $1.40

Geoff Neal vs Ian Machado Garry

Career Records:

Neal – 15-5 (9 wins by KO/TKO)

Machado Garry – 13-0 (7 wins by KO/TKO)

Last Bouts: 

Neal def by Rakhmonov- Submission – UFC 285, March 2023

Machado Garry def Magny – Decision (unanimous) – UFC 292, August 2023

Analysis: 

Geoff Neal and Ian Machado Garry will finally go one-on-one in the Octagon after the fight was supposed to occur in August last year. The match is set to deliver plenty of promise between the ‘Handz of Steel’ and ‘The Future’.

Just like his nickname, ‘Handz of Steel’, Neal has an incredible striking game and can deliver some of the hardest punches in the promotion. In his first fight since a submission loss to Shavkat Rakhmonov in UFC 285, Neal will be looking to knock out Garry on the weekend, putting an abrupt end to the grudge between the two fighters.

On the other hand, Garry is undefeated with a record of 13-0 that includes seven wins by KO/TKO. A patient mixed martial artist, Garry is known for his jab and low kick style, which would allow him to walk away with the victory if the fight goes the distance. However, Neal would be a good option in the fight as he looks to make a successful comeback and rise up the UFC rankings.

Best Now MATCH RESULT - GEOFF NEAL @ $2.85

Merab Dvalishvili vs Henry Cejudo

Career Records:

Dvalishvili – 16-4 (3 wins by KO/TKO)

Cejudo – 16-3 (8 wins by KO/TKO)

Last Bouts: 

Dvalishvili def Yan – Decision (unanimous) – UFC Fight Night: Yan vs Dvalishvili, March 2023

Cejudo def by Sterling – Decision (split) – UFC 288, May 2023

Analysis: 

In a match between two bantamweight contenders, a win to either Merab Dvalishvili or Henry Cejudo will help propel them into the conversation for a shot at the Bantamweight Championship in the near future. The two have very similar careers and will be eager to get the wood over their opposition.

Likely to be the most underrated fight on the card, Dvalishvili is a black belt in Judo and is returning to the ring for the first time in 11 months since defeating Petr Yan. A good friend of Aljamin Sterling, he will aim to use his wrestling ability to outmaneuver Cejudo. It is understood that he averages 6.55 takedowns per fight and can deflect takedowns with a 78% success rate.

While the 33-year-old can be expected to use his wrestling ability, Cejudo is one of the most accomplished combat sports athletes in history, with a Gold Medal in wrestling and a former double-champion in the UFC. Like Dvalishvili, he will aim to use his wrestling game in the fight. With the fight set to be highly contested on the mat, Cejudo’s wrestling will likely outlast Dvalishvili and will earn the win by either TKO or decision.

Best Now MATCH RESULT - HENRY CEJUDO @ $2.75

Anthony Hernandez vs Roman Kopylov

Career Records:

Hernandez – 11-2 (1) (2 wins by KO/TKO)

Kopylov – 11-2 (11 wins by KO/TKO)

Last Bouts: 

Hernandez def Shahbazyan – TKO – UFC Fight Night: Dern vs Hill, May 2023

Kopylov def Fremd – KO – UFC Fight Night: Grasso vs Shevchenko 2, September 223

Analysis: 

Opening the UFC 298 card will be an under-the-radar fight between Anthony Hernandez and Roman Kopylov in the middleweight division to kick off the evening.

Set to be a bout filled with highlights, Anthony Hernandez has outworked his opponents in his past three fights, but this match will be his pay-per-view main card debut. A veteran of Dana White’s Contender Series, he is 5-2 in the UFC and will be aiming to make a name for himself in front of millions watching and in attendance.

His opponent will be Russian powerhouse Roman Kopylov. The Russian striker has an impressive record of 11-2, with all of his victories coming by knockout. Debuting in 2019, he is coming off four consecutive knockouts – Alessio Di Chirico, Punahele Soriano, Claudio Ribeiro, and Josh Fremd – but if he fails to find a punch to knockout Hernandez, the veteran will likely be announced as the victor.

Best Now MATCH RESULT - ANTHONY HERNANDEZ @ $1.40

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