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UFC 298 MMA Odds and Betting Preview: Whittaker vs Costa

In the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s return to Pay-Per-View, middleweight bragging rights are up for grabs in the evening’s co-main event, and I’m here to assist your UFC betting needs.

The former middleweight champ, Robert Whittaker, and ex-No. 1 contender Paulo Costa will spill blood in the cage this Saturday.

UFC 298 MMA Odds and Betting Preview: Whittaker vs Costa
UFC 298 MMA Odds and Betting Preview: Whittaker vs Costa

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

 

UFC 298 Information

1. Date & Time: Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 – 6:30 p.m. ET
2. Location: Honda Centre, Anaheim, California
3. Whittaker vs Costa Live Stream: UFC Fight Pass
4. Main Event Bout: Alexander Volkanovski vs Ilia Topuria
5. Co-Main Event Bout: Rob Whittaker vs Paulo Costa
6. Moneyline Probability: Whittaker – 71.4% (-250) Costa – 33.3% (+200)

 

Whittaker vs Costa Betting Odds

 

UFC 298: Fighter Previews

Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker

Whittaker had an almost perfect record going into last year; his sole loss had been against “The Last Stylebender”— Israel Adesanyar. Regrettably, that changed in July, to the dismay of”Bobby Knuckles” aficionados.

“The Reaper” hopes to turn things around after coming out on the losing end of a biassed bout with current champion Dricus Du Plessis. However, after suffering such a lopsided defeat last time out, many are questioning whether the former champ has prematurely passed his prime at the age of 33.

1. Du Plessis and Adesanya are the only fighters to beat Whittaker in a 31-fight career
2. Whittaker hasn’t won a UFC bout by KO/TKO since 2017

 

Paulo “The Eraser” Costa

Costa returned to winning ways in the summer of ’22 when he faced off against Luke Rockhold, one of only three fights he has participated in over the last three years. Following back-to-back defeats against Adesanya and Marvin Vettori, respectively, it was imperative that he triumphed over Rockhold to remain in the middleweight top rankings conversation.

Despite several factors working against the gifted Brazilian’s ability to compete often, Costa is off to a reasonably early start in his 2024 campaign, so hopefully, this is a new trend in his professional career, and we’ll have more footage to evaluate moving forward.

1. Costa is 2-2 as a betting underdog
2. Costa has been knocked out in just 1 of his 16 professional MMA bouts
3. Costa hasn’t won via KO/TKO since 2018

 

 

Whittaker vs Costa: Tale of The Tape

Rob Whittaker
Paulo Costa
Australia
Country
Brazil
33
Age
32
24-7-0
Pro Record (Win/Loss)
14-2-0
9 KOs, 5 Submissions
KO/Sub/Dec
11 KOs, 1 Submissions
6’0”
Height
6’1”
73.5”
Reach
72.0”
14:04
Avg Fight Time
10:40
0.53
Knockdown Avg (15 min)
0.70
4.47
Avg Strikes Landed Per Min
6.05
0.85
Takedown Avg (15 min)
0.53
L/W/L/W/W
Win/Loss (Last 5)
W/L/L/W/W

UFC 298: Main Event Breakdown & Analysis

Whittaker Style and How He Can defeat Costa

Whittaker owns the perfect blend of striking and grappling skills, but he unquestionably prefers to utilize the former. As a kickboxing technician, he’s made the majority of his UFC victories look effortless, and although the finishing ability factor has lacked in recent years, solving the striking masterclass has been no easy feat.

The blueprint for Whittaker will remain the same: land more, move quicker, counter effectively, and prove why he was once untouchable at 185 pounds by schooling Costa in the art of point-fighting.

The best path to victory for Costa: Technically outclass Costa with experience and striking output.

 

 

Costa Style and How He Can Defeat Whittaker

Costa is often viewed as a brute that is only capable of winning via knockout. However, critics presenting this stance aren’t watching closely. In fact, I’d say that the Brazilian has clean boxing, excellent kicks, and can technically match many opponents in the top 20 rankings.

The main problem is that we have a lack of recent footage on Costa due to prolonged inactivity, and it could be argued that his high-profile wins have come against fighters reaching the end of their careers.

Costa is down to swing, but this rarely affects his cardio, and should a technical battle play out, he does have the skills to hand. However, I believe his greatest path to victory will be through a game plan where he imposes his size and strength and hunts an early finish, similar to Du Plessis.

 

 

Whittaker vs Costa Prediction:

UFC 298 Best Bet: Over 2 ½ Rounds [-150]

While I’m leaning to the Whittaker side, the UFC odds at the sportsbook -250 aren’t justified when we’re looking at the Australian, who is returning from a vicious knockout defeat, and I’m unwilling to wager on the unknown of whether this is affecting confidence levels at this price.

However, the Las Vegas odds on the over/under intrigue me. Anybody expecting Whittaker to win will naturally look at the likelihood of him taking the dub by decision. Not only has he failed to win a fight inside the distance since 2017, but Costa’s durability has seen him lose via stoppage in just one of his eight UFC bouts.

UFC 298 Co-Main Event: The Crystal Ball Picks

In this co-main event matchup, a quick rub of my crystal ball reveals that Costa’s attempts to exchange strikes with Whittaker for three rounds will result in a closely fought contest. Still, ultimately, the sportsbook betting favorite will edge the contest and receive a split decision win.

 

 

Potential Bets from a Whittaker Win by Decision:

1. Whittaker Moneyline [-250]

2. Over 2 ½ Rounds [-150]

3. Whittaker By Decision [+120]

4. Fight To Go The Distance/Yes [-130]

 

 

Questions Of The Day

Does Whittaker have more KOs than Costa?


No, Robert Whittaker has secured 9 KO/TKO wins during his pro-MMA career, while Paulo Costa has 11.

What are the co-main event odds at UFC 298?


Robert Whittaker enters the UFC 298 co-main event as the oddsmakers’ favorite at -250, with the comeback on Costa at +200.

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