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UFC 298 Neal vs Garry: Main Card Analysis, MMA Odds, and Betting Preview

Just one more sleep fight-fans, as the festivities and Octagon warfare of UFC 298 are within touching distance. Make sure to check in on the latest UFC odds and our best bets.

More importantly, the betting lines are live, and in one of the most highly anticipated main card bouts, Ian Garry attempts to defend his 13-0 record against the man with hands of steel, Geoff Neal.

UFC 298 Neal vs Garry: Main Card Analysis, MMA Odds, and Betting Preview
UFC 298 Neal vs Garry: Main Card Analysis, MMA Odds, and Betting Preview

The stage is set; I’m ready to share my UFC expert picks, so let’s waste no time and jump straight into our UFC 298 main card breakdown.

 

UFC 298 Event Information

  1. Date/Time: Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 – 6:30 p.m. ET
  2. Location: Honda Center, California
  3. 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

 

Neal vs Garry Betting Odds

 

UFC 298: Fighter Previews

Geoff “Handz of Steel” Neal

Even though he suffered defeat last time, Neal made the most of his lone appearance in 2023, as the fighter from Fortis MMA fought fiercely for 14 minutes against unbeaten contender Shavkat Rakhmonov. Unfortunately, in the last minute of the bout, Rakhmonov submitted him with a standing rear-naked choke.

This, however, doesn’t alter the fact that he’ll be Garry’s most formidable challenge to date, and despite what the odds suggest, Neal is a top welterweight contender who can only be defeated by the division’s upper echelon.

With the potential to derail an up-and-coming hype train with an undefeated record, this is the 33-year-old’s opportunity to show that he is still a formidable threat in the division, as he currently has a 7-3 record under the UFC banner and is ranked No. 8.

 

Ian “The Future” Garry

Whether you love him or hate him – most hate him – Garry, once the Octagon door has closed, is an absolute delight to watch, and behind his striking prowess is a 13-0 pro record that’s seen the Irishman take the 170-pound division by storm.

Since joining the UFC at the end of 2021, Garry has collected six consecutive wins with a 50% knockout rate. At age 27, the experience factor is sometimes questioned, but that didn’t prevent him from totally dominating a veteran in Neil Magny last August.

 

Garry vs Neal: Tale of The Tape

Neal
Garry
USA
Country
Ireland
33
Age 
27
15-5-0
Pro Record (Win/Loss)
13-0
9 KOs, 2 Submissions 
KO/Sub/Dec
7 KOs, 1 Submissions 
5’11”
Height 
6’3”
75.0”
Reach 
74.0”
10:36
Avg Fight Time 
11:13
1.03
Knockdown Avg (15 min)
0.89
5.22
Avg Strikes Landed Per Min
6.67 
0.51
Takedown Avg (15 min)
0.67
L/W/W/L/L
Win/Loss (Last 5)
W/W/W/W/W

 

UFC 298: Main Card Bout Breakdown and Analysis

Neal owns some of the crispest boxing techniques in the welterweight division; the problem is, he doesn’t offer much outside of this. Like many traditional style MMA fighters who enjoy boxing, his guard is high; jabs are difficult to land, and overall, defenses are sound.

The success Neal has found in the Octagon often arrives when the opposition pressures him. With excellent timing and almost perfect precision, those entering his range recklessly have paid for it.

Fortunately for Garry, he’s a master technician with some of the best long-range striking in the game. When smooth and consistent combinations with high output are coupled alongside top-notch footwork, consistent lateral movement, and a faint game that makes everyone question his next move, you’re looking at an incredibly difficult fighter to beat on the feet.

Neal has never threatened much of a wrestling game, loves to box, and even has lower takedown average stats than Garry, which may be surprising to some. For this reason, and unless Neal lands flush on Garry’s chin, backing him across three rounds isn’t the smart move.

Neal vs Garry Prediction

UFC 298 Best Bet: Garry Moneyline [-245]

Before the sharp bettors at the sportsbook attacking random underdogs call for my head, I’d never opt for a -245 money line position on Vegas odds unless my confidence matched the implied probability in UFC this week.

Yes, this is MMA; anything can happen, but if we took that mindset, we’d avoid every sportsbook betting line. I believe that in a striking war – which is expected – between Neal and Garry, the former is going to win at least 8 times out of 10. So, with an implied probability of 70.6%, I see value on -245, especially when Neal bettors are predominantly banking on a KO finish.

Alternatively, you can hit the over 2½ rounds at -140, a wagering position that holds a higher risk, but in my opinion, based on historical trends and fighting styles, just as much value.

 

UFC 298 Garry vs Neal: The Crystal Ball Prediction

In this striker v striker matchup, a quick rub of my crystal ball reveals that Garry will execute the perfect striking gameplan, as he has done in every one of his UFC bouts to date. After three entertaining rounds, Garry’s output will have led to more significant damage, and the judges will have no choice but to give the Irishman his flowers.

 

 

Potential UFC Bets from a Garry Win by Decision:

1. Garry Moneyline [-245]
2. Over 2.5 Rounds [-140]
3. Garry To Win by Decision [+150]
4. Fight To Go The Distance/Yes [-105]

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