Welterweights Collide at UFC 285
Featuring on the main card at UFC 285 is Geoff Neal vs Shavkat Rakhmonov, which has seen most of the money come for the unbeaten Kazakh fighter.
Rakhmonov is the -500 favorite with UFC betting markets to beat Neal, who is always a dangerous fighter.
Neal Back to His Best
The career of Neal came to a crossroads when he was defeated by Neil Magny in 2021, but he rebounded with consecutive victories.
He defeated Santiago Ponzinibbio via decision at UFC 269 before knocking out Vicente Luque last August. There was plenty to take away from that knockout performance, which came in the final round.
The 32-year-old might be the +350 underdog at the sportsbook, but he always shows up in the Octagon and he could be a tough opponent for Rakhmonov.
His record of 15-4 demands respect and he has beaten the likes of Mike Perry and Niko Price in the welterweight division, who are two dangerous strikers, and that can’t be overlooked.
“I gotta be a crowd pleaser,” Neal told UFC.com. “I don’t talk much. I don’t do all this social media crap. I’m not an influencer. I don’t do s**t like that, but what I do is violence. I do that really well, and that’s how I’m going to get my money.”
Our only worry is that Rakhmonov has both striking power and excellent wrestling. If Neal gets taken down, the fight is likely over.
Favorite Seeking Title Shot
If Rakhmonov beats Neal on Saturday in Las Vegas, he could have earned himself a title shot later in the year.
The 28-year-old is unbeaten at 16-0 after submitting Magny, which is an excellent form guide for UFC bettors.
He also knocked out Carlston Harris last year, which showcased his power, and that should be concerning for Neal, who needs the fight to be standing.
Considered one of the best talents in the organization, Rakhmonov loved his win against Magny and believes that holds him in good stead to fight the best.
“Neil was definitely one of the most serious opponents I’ve ever faced in my life,” Rakhmonov said. “He has been on the top of the division for a long time and fought many big-name opponents before. So the fight against him showed that I can easily compete with top fighters, (which is) something that I was confident about already before.”
Neal vs Rakhmonov Head-to-Head
This will be the first meeting between Neal vs Rakhmonov, following a cancellation in January.
Neal vs Rakhmonov Fight Information
- Fight: Neal (15-4) vs Rakhmonov (16-0)
- Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
- Day/Time: Saturday, March 4, 10 p.m. ET
- Neal vs Rakhmonov Live Stream: UFC Fight Pass
Neal vs Rakhmonov Betting Lines
Neal vs Rakhmonov Picks and Prediction
Bettors aren’t getting fantastic odds for Rakhmonov, but we’re not surprised by the quote.
We’re happy to include the favorite at -500, which could boost parlay payouts without too much risk.
Neal is a quality fighter on his day but Rakhmonov could be a next-level talent.
Rakhmonov is listed at -500 in our Vegas UFC lines. This means that if you wager $100 on Rakhmonov, you have a chance to win $20. Neal is +350 offering a chance to win $350 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Rakhmonov a 83.33% chance to win, with Neal at 22.22%.