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UFC 298 Deep Dive: Main Event Analysis, MMA Odds and Betting Preview: Volkanovski vs Topuria

In the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s highly anticipated return to the Golden State, the featherweight championship is up for grabs in the evening’s main event, and we’re covering all your UFC betting online needs.

The formidable, reigning, and defending champion, Alexander Volkanovski, stands toe-to-toe with Ilia Topuria in his sixth defense of the throne at 145 pounds.

UFC 298 Deep Dive: Main Event Analysis, MMA Odds and Betting Preview: Volkanovski vs Topuria
UFC 298 Deep Dive: Main Event Analysis, MMA Odds and Betting Preview: Volkanovski vs Topuria

The stage is set, and the betting lines are live, so let’s waste no time and jump straight into our deep dive of the UFC 298 main event.

Volkanovski vs Topuria Fight Information

1. Date/Time: Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 – 06:30 p.m. ET
2. Location: Honda Center, Anaheim, CA
3. UFC 298 Live Stream: UFC Fight Pass / ESPN+
4. Main Event Bout: Alexander Volkanovski vs Ilia Topuria
5. Co-Main Event Bout: Robert Whittaker vs Paulo Costa
6. Moneyline Probability: Volkanovski (-125) Topuria (-105)

 

Volkanovski vs Topuria Betting Odds

 

UFC 298: Fighter Previews

Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski

In contrast to Topuria, who enters UFC 298’s main event with a significant amount of momentum, Volkanovski experienced two losses in his most recent three bouts; both losses came against Makhachev as he aimed to become the sixth two-division champion in UFC history. Still, he’s the online betting favorite to take this match at -125 odds.

Volkanovski’s first bout against the pound-for-pound champion received recognition as the battle of the Year. Still, the second battle, which he agreed to participate in with little preparation time, was far more destructive. Makhachev executed a flawless head kick, resulting in an early conclusion of the match barely three minutes into the first round.

However, during the period between those two battles, Volkanovski convincingly demonstrated his status as the undisputed featherweight champion. Volkanovski successfully defended his championship against Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290 in July, displaying an immaculate performance. In addition, “The Great” has maintained an unbeaten record in the 145-pound weight class, emerging victorious in all 16 of his professional bouts as a featherweight.

Moneyline Odds: Volkanovski (-125)

  1. Volkanovski has never lost at 145lbs as a betting favorite
  2. Volkanovski has gone the distance in three of his five title defenses
  3. Volkanovski has one of his nine UFC bouts that went the distance

Ilia “El Matador” Topuria

Topuria, with six consecutive wins since making his promotional debut, has stormed to the top of the division in three years and has now received the opportunity to make history and become the first featherweight fighter to dethrone one of the top pound-for-pound champs on the planet.

Wins over Bryce Mitchell and Josh Emmett led Topuria to this position, and while both are equally tough, it’s hard to argue that those fighters would stand a chance against Volk. However, power, momentum, age, and an unblemished are noteworthy aspects for the challenger; the question for UFC betting fans is whether or not he can maintain his past dominance against the very best at 145.

Moneyline Odds: Topuria (-105)

 

  1. Topuria is undefeated as a professional mixed martial artist
  2. Following his UFC debut, Topuria has never been a betting underdog

Volkanovski vs Topuria: Tale of The Tape

Volkanovski
Topuria
Australia
Country
Georgia 
35
Age 
27
25-3-0
Pro Record (Win/Loss)
14-0
13 KOs, 3 Submissions 
KO/Sub/Dec
4 KOs, 8 Submissions
5’6” 
Height 
5’7” 
71.5”
Reach 
69.0”
16:18 
Avg Fight Time 
10:17 
0.37
Knockdown Avg (15 min)
0.97
6.19
Avg Strikes Landed Per Min
4.44
1.84
Takedown Avg (15 min)
2.19
L/W/L/W/W
Win/Loss (Last 5)
W/W/W/W/W

 

UFC 298: Main Event Breakdown and Analysis

Volkanovski Fight Style and How Can Volkanovski Defeat Topuria

A fluent and high-volume attacking style is a big factor in Volkanovski’s success thus far. The biggest ever recorded strike difference in featherweight division history belongs to “The Great,” who averages 3.03 per minute.

As the bout progresses into later rounds, Volkanovski’s striking actually becomes better. Despite landing an average of 6.8 significant strikes per minute during a bout, he hits 7.52 significant strikes per minute in the fifth round. His durability and everlasting cardio are major factors in his success, which can give thanks to these numbers for such an authoritative reign at the top.

Such an impressive output and cardiovascular will be crucial in his path to victory this weekend, especially when his opponent has limited experience competing for 25 minutes during his pro career, as well as the fact that Topuria reached the fifth round against Josh Emett, his striking output dropped by more than 85%.

The Best path to victory for A: A technical masterclass that leads to a significant discrepancy in the striking numbers.

Topuria fight style and how can Topuria defeat Volkanovski

As one of the greatest point-fighters in modern-day featherweight history, envisioning Topuria outscoring Volk in at least 3 of the 5 rounds doesn’t seem achievable. He could achieve success through knockdowns, but ultimately, we cannot ignore the fact that a KO/TKO or submission stoppage would be his greatest path to victory.

Of course, the aforementioned route to winning this bout is achievable; he’s dropped or taken down every single one of his UFC opponents to date, and with an ever-growing confidence in his striking game, our sportsbook cannot completely rule this out.

The Best path to victory for A: Find a stoppage early and avoid the fourth and fifth rounds

Volkanovski vs Topuria Prediction

UFC 298 Best Bet: Over 3½ Rounds [-130]

When comparing the two main event combatants from UFC 298 side by side, it seems that Topuria has the upper hand regarding power. In contrast, Volkanovski has the upper hand regarding volume and precision.

Despite landing 6.19 blows per minute—nearly double the UFC average—the champion only manages 0.37 knockdowns every fifteen minutes. In contrast, Topuria manages 4.44 strikes per minute but only manages 0.97 knockdowns in three rounds.

In round five against Emmett, Topuria landed just eight strikes compared to the 55 he scored in round four. This is a huge red flag for him in the later rounds, as Volkanovski will not only put on a higher pace than Emmett but also threaten higher striking numbers in all five rounds.

Volume usually rules when we witness two durable fighters. While I believe Volkanovski has the edge, I prefer the over 3 ½ rounds from a wagering standpoint, simply because Topuria could score rounds via knockdowns.

UFC Betting Fans: Bet $200 & Get a $450 Bonus on your first deposit!

 

UFC 298 Main Event: The Crystal Ball

In this featherweight championship matchup, a quick rub of my crystal ball reveals that Volkanovski will prove his doubters wrong and successfully defend the gold via a 5-round, technical masterclass that also prevents Topuria from landing the kill shot. Cardio and output are king, making Volkannovski our best UFC bet for this match.

Potential UFC Bets from a Volkanovski by Decision:

  1. Over 3.5 Rounds (-130)
  2. Volkanovski Moneyline (-125)
  3. Fight To Go The Distance/Yes (+130)
  4. Volkanovski Wins By Decision (+235)


 

Questions Of The Day

Can Volkanovski Knockout Topuria?


Topuria is undefeated and hasn’t been compromised via knockdowns or wobbly legs since joining the UFC. However, this is MMA, and especially in the later rounds where Volkanovski should have a cardio advantage, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the champ finish this bout via TKO.

What are the Co-Main Event Odds at UFC 298?


In his long-awaited return to the middleweight division, Paulo Costa will face Robert Whittaker, as the former enters this bout with an underdog price of +220 against Whittaker’s -280 odds.

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