UFC 298 Odds, Predictions: Why We Expect A New Featherweight Champ

UFC 298 is right around the corner and it features what looks like a dual main event. Alexander Volkanovski will defend his UFC Featherweight title against the young and exciting Ilia Topuria. Just before that bout, however, we’ll see one of the most dangerous fighters in the world, Robert Whittaker, taking on Paulo Costa.

Check out the preview below featuring each of the main card bouts. We will also provide odds from Bet365 and our picks for each of the fights. Check it out and get ready to make your picks ahead of UFC 298.

Anthony Hernandez (-225) vs. Roman Kopylov (+187)

Anthony Hernandez is a confusing fighter. He got submitted by the 2-5 Markus Perez but then immediately tapped out arguably one of the best pure grapplers in the UFC, Rodolfo Vieira. He comes into this one as the favourite, but it’s worth being a little leery of a fighter that can be this hot and cold.

Hernandez and Roman Kopylov have both had similar careers so far, and both will be coming into this one feeling good, with both fighters riding four-fight win streaks. Looking at this striker vs. grappler matchup, it does seem like Kopylov may be one of the better value bets of the night considering Hernandez’s inconsistency.

With that being said, if Hernandez can bring this one to the mat, he might be able to get Kopylov in trouble. It’s hard to determine a winner here, but when in doubt, we’d recommend backing the underdog for a better value.

CSB’s Pick: Kopylov by decision

Anthony Hernandez to defeat Roman Kopylov


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Merab Dvalishvili (-225) vs. Henry Cejudo (+187)

Both come into this fight with similar records – Dvalishvili at 16-4, Cejudo at 16-3 – but it is clear that Cejudo has far more on the line here. The former champion is looking to get back to the mountaintop but is coming off a loss to Aljamain Sterling in May.

The Olympic gold medalist took three years off and is still something of a household name in the UFC. But if he loses to Dvalishvili here, it could undermine any brand recognition he has left. Not only that, it could put him too far away from a title shot to ever recover.

While Dvalishvili might not have quite the natural ability to match Sterling, his teammate, he has seemingly endless cardio and fights with an impressive, unrelenting style. His wrestling is so strong, and his fitness levels make him a nightmare when the battle goes to the mat.

Cejudo is smart and also an elite grappler, so this is no pushover. If Dvalishvili isn’t careful, he could telegraph a takedown that Triple C knows is coming, leading to a fight-ending barrage of strikes that will end things in no time.

CSB’s Pick: Cejudo by TKO

Henry Cejudo to defeat Merab Dvalishvili


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Geoff Neal (+200) vs. Ian Machado Garry (-250)

Ian Garry is back after a dominating performance against Neil Magny and walks right into another big test at UFC 298. While it might be easy to say that Garry is the easy pick since Magny has previously defeated Neal, don’t discount the American Neal.

Neal’s called “Handz of Steel” for a reason; he has the striking power to end things in a flash. His one-punch power is the kind that Garry has never faced before, so the latter has to be on his guard to protect against a kill shot.

While that one-punch power is more than capable of ending the fight instantly, Garry is a skilled fighter with a great track record. Look for him to use his size and a good variety of striking to eke out a win in what could be the fight of the night and a potential classic war.

CSB’s Pick: Garry by decision

Ian Machado Garry to defeat Geoff Neal


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Robert Whittaker (-225) vs. Paulo Costa (+187)

The co-main event of the evening. Whittaker, 25-7-0, is the heavy favourite to win in this one with an implied probability of 68.8% to win. Costa, 14-2-0, should not be slept on. Especially in the UFC where all it takes is one punch or one hold to shock the world.

What’s interesting to note is that Costa has backed out of this fight once before. Though we’re assuming this one goes ahead — it would be a little late to get cold feet now — you might take this as a sign that Costa isn’t thrilled about the matchup. Given that Whittaker is one of the most balanced fighters in all of UFC, it seems at least understandable that Costa wouldn’t be gung-ho.

To win, Costa is going to need to land something magical. Even the best fighters can be caught by surprise and rocked by one solid shot on the chin. If he can’t, though, Whittaker has all the tools needed to take Costa down. If Costa comes out fighting aggressively, it could keep Whittaker on his heels. For long enough to win the fight? Doubtful. Look for Whittaker to walk away with the win here.

CSB’s Pick: Whittaker by decision

Robert Whittaker to defeat Paulo Costa


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Alexander Volkanovski (C) (-110) vs. Ilia Topuria (-110)

Volkanovski is one of the most complete fighters in the world in any weight class. That said, he does have a bit of history working against him as he hopes to buck what has become a long-standing UFC tradition. In the 31 years that UFC has been around, all 35-year-old fighters in the lower weight classes have gone 2-21 when fighting at 170 pounds or less. On top of that, those same fighters are 1-21 when fighting a younger opponent.

The 35-year-old Volkanovski is the favorite but the 27-year-old Topuria (14-0-0) has earned his place here. There may also be some concern out of Volkanovski’s camp given that it has been just four months since Islam Makhachev ended their fight with a nasty kick to the head.

The key will be whether Volkanovski lost something more than he did in his fight against Makhachev. Topuria is both young and highly motivated and will be a very difficult follow-up to a high-profile loss.

Until he shows otherwise, however, Alexander “The Great” remains the very best of the featherweight division. Given his age, it might not be long before he passes the torch to a younger fighter. If he’s not back to his very best, Topuria could shock the world and snatch the torch whether Volkanovski likes it or not.

CSB’s Pick: Topuria by TKO

Ilia Topuria to defeat Alexander Volaknovski


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