Alexander Volkanovski and Ilia Topuria clash for the Featherweight title in the main event of UFC 298. The showdown is at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Saturday, February 17th. Volkanovski (-115) is the favorite to win and defend his belt. But Topuria (-105) is undefeated and will be looking to maintain his unbeaten status and take the belt off the Australian when they square off in California. Below, we look ahead to the fight in more detail and tell you who will win in our latest UFC betting picks.
What: UFC 298
Who: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Ilia Topuria
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim, California
When: Saturday, February 17th, 2024
Time: 10 pm ET (PPV Card)
This is the second UFC Pay-Per-View event of 2024, and it promises to be another show-stopper.
Also on the card at Anaheim is a Middleweight showdown between Robert Whittaker (-210) and Paulo Costa (+180) in the co-main event. Another eye-catching fight taking place on the main card is Ireland’s Ian Garry (-220) taking on American Geoff Neal (+185).
The unbeaten Garry last fought in August, defeating Neil Magny by decision at UFC 292. He has been making a lot of noise within the organization and is an up-and-coming star, so it will be interesting to see how he gets on against his more experienced American opponent.
Alexander Volkanovski vs. Ilia Topuria betting
The best UFC betting sites are just favoring the defending champion, Alexander Volkanovski, to win the fight. On the money line, Volkanovski is -115. He was -120 just 24 hours earlier. But with this being a close-looking contest on paper, we would expect the UFC Vegas betting odds to fluctuate one way and then the other in the build-up to the fight.
The challenger, Ilia Topuria, is now -105. He was +100 just a couple of days ago. More betting options are available below on our UFC odds table. All our odds are from the best MMA betting sites.
Alexander Volkanovski has a Mixed Martial Arts record of 26-3-0. He has defended his Featherweight title five times, with his most recent win coming in July 2023, when he defeated Yair Rodriguez by TKO at UFC 290.
Over his career, Volkanovski has recorded 13 knockout victories, with ten of his 26 wins coming by decision and the remaining three by submission.
He has lost on three occasions. Once to Corey Nelson in his fourth-ever fight by TKO. That was back in 2013. More recently, Volkanovski lost twice to Islam Makhachev. The first defeat was by unanimous decision at UFC 284. He also lost the rematch (Volkanovski’s most recent fight) by knockout at UFC 294 in October 2023.
Both the defeats to Makhachev were for the Russian’s Lightweight Championship title.
Ilia Topuria Career Breakdown
Ilia Topuria has an MMA record of 14-0-0. Born in Germany, Topuria fights under the Georgian flag, although he currently resides in Spain. His Eastern European upbringing saw him learn the art of Greco-Roman wrestling from an early age. A skill that serves him well in the UFC.
Although only having had six fights within the UFC, Topuria has already worked his way up to the No.3 ranking in the Featherweight division with an unbeaten record.
His 14 overall MMA wins have come by eight submissions, four knockouts, and two decisions. His most recent bout was a unanimous decision win over Josh Emmett last June, where the duo topped the bill on UFC on ABC.
Alexander Volkanovski vs. Ilia Topuria betting picks
Usually, when I write UFC picks there are obvious strengths and weaknesses of both fighters, and one combatant may have a signature way of winning fights. But, In this contest, both men are equally competent when on their feet, and also very evenly matched when the fight goes to the mat.
The only thing that separates them is Volkanovski’s added experience, and maybe the champion has that extra bit more cage craft than his younger opponent – at this stage of their respective careers. On the flip side, Topuria may have slightly better ground skills, but not by much. And possibly not enough of a ground advantage to make much difference.
There is no doubt in my mind that Topuria is a star in the making. It would be no surprise to see him beat Volkanovski. But if he doesn’t do it this time, he will be back to take this belt at some stage. At the very least, Topuria will learn from this contest.
It’s a really tough call to make, and this is a fight that could well go the distance. So for my first pick, I’m going for the fight to go the distance.
As for who will win the fight, I’m just going to call a winner, rather than go for a method of victory. The odds on both men are good, meaning we can avoid having to pick a method of victory to boost the price.
This fight really could go either way. But I’m going with the champion to defend his title, using his experience and know-how to see off a challenger I have no doubt will be back.
Dean has a strong affinity for the English Premier League and cricket, but his extensive understanding of sports allows him to discuss a wide range of athletic topics. Previously, Dean has explored the world to attend events such as the FIFA World Cup and Ashes cricket matches, but currently, he prefers to enjoy sports from the coziness of his home.