Sunday, April 14, 2024

Volkanovski vs. Topuria odds, UFC 298 prediction: MMA expert reveals surprising fight card picks

Alexander Volkanovski is the longest-tenured active UFC champion and will attempt to keep that streak alive on Saturday in the main event of UFC 298: Volkanovski vs. Topuria when he defends the belt against rising contender Ilia Topuria. Their five-round battle tops the main UFC 298 fight card starting at 10 p.m. ET from the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Last year, Volkanovski made the fifth successful defense of his featherweight belt, sandwiched around two failed attempts to become a two-division champion with losses in lightweight title fights. Now, his focus has circled back to his home base of featherweight and the challenge of facing Topuria, a sinister and versatile combatant with an outsized ego who believes he will become the new face of the division. 

Volkanovski is a -120 favorite (risk $120 to win $100), while Topuria is priced at +100 in the latest UFC 298: Volkanovski vs. Topuria odds. In the co-main event, former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker takes on rugged former title challenger Paulo Costa (+185). Before making your picks for UFC 298: Volkanovski vs. Topuria, make sure you see the MMA predictions and betting advice from proven SportsLine expert Kyle Marley

Marley won the first-ever “ToutMaster” UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and daily Fantasy shows. He watches every single fight for every professional MMA card and does extensive research before each event. 

Over the past five years, $100 bettors who have followed Marley’s picks are up nearly $11,000. Just last week at UFC Fight Night, Marley advised SportsLine members to back underdog Jack Hermansson (+220) against rising prospect Joe Pyfer (-275) in the middleweight main event. Hermansson won a unanimous decision to give Marley’s followers another easy winner. Anyone who has followed him has seen massive returns. 

Now, with UFC 298: Volkanovski vs. Topuria on deck, Marley has studied the card from top to bottom and revealed his top selections. Those picks are only available at SportsLine

UFC 298: Volkanovski vs. Topuria preview

Volkanovski (26-3) sits at No. 3 in the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings, and the accomplished Australian fighter has spent numerous weeks in the top spot since claiming the featherweight crown from former longtime champion Max Holloway in December 2019. 

The versatile Volkanovski, who is a former professional rugby player, is among the best athletes the division has ever seen and improved his MMA arsenal after he became the champion. He has since faced every qualified contender who vied for the title, including taking two subsequent rematches against Holloway. 

Some observers believed dangerous striker Yair Rodriguez had the potential to dethrone Volkanovski, but the champion somewhat easily discarded him with a third-round stoppage in July of last year. However, in his second bid for the lightweight title, Volkanovski suffered a head-kick knockout at the hands of Islam Makhachev. 

Considering Volkanovski just turned 35, the age at which lower-weight fighters tend to fade, many MMA observers now wonder if that loss was a sign that the featherweight champion’s best days are behind him.  

The ultra-confident Topuria (14-0) believes his rapid ascent represents a changing of the guard and has repeatedly asserted he believes Volkanovski will no longer be a factor after Saturday’s main event. Topuria’s dynamic skill set and charisma quickly made him a fan favorite, but now many are wondering if he is underestimating the dominant champion. 

Among his many bold gestures, the undefeated Spaniard changed the bios on his social media accounts ahead of the UFC 298 main event to declare himself the promotion’s new featherweight champion. The 27-year-old has carved up his first six UFC opponents, but has yet to defeat a top-five adversary. See all of Marley’s UFC 298 picks here.

Top UFC 298 predictions 

We’ll share one of Marley’s UFC 298 predictions here: He is siding with Miranda Maverick (-180) to get past Andrea Lee (+150) in a women’s flyweight showdown on the preliminary card. 

Maverick (12-5) is a submission specialist who was among the division’s brightest prospects before suffering back-to-back defeats. However, she has won three of her past four and is coming off a submission of Priscila Cachoeira last July. 

Lee (13-8) is a six-year UFC veteran and versatile fighter who has matched up against some of the division’s biggest names. But she is now looking to snap a three-fight skid following a decision loss to Natalia Silva in August. 

“I think Maverick’s wrestling is the deciding factor more often than not, so I slightly favor her to win a decision,” Marley told SportsLine. See who else to pick here.

How to make UFC 298 picks 

Marley has strong picks for Volkanovski vs. Topuria and every other bout on the UFC 298 card. He’s also backing a combatant who “is the more well-rounded fighter” to emerge with a huge victory. Those picks are only available at SportsLine

Who wins UFC 298: Volkanovski vs. Topuria, and how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC 298, all from the seasoned expert who’s up nearly $11,000 on MMA in the past four years, and find out. 

UFC 298 odds, fight card

See full UFC 298 picks, predictions, best bets here.

Alexander Volkanovski (-120) vs. Ilia Topuria (+100)
Robert Whittaker (-225) vs. Paulo Costa (+180)
Ian Garry (-225) vs. Geoff Neal (+185)
Merab Dvalishvili (-210) vs. Henry Cejudo (+190)
Anthony Hernandez (-205) vs. Roman Kopylov (+170)
Amanda Lemos (-140) vs. Mackenzie Dern (+120)
Marcos Rogerio De Lima (-140) vs. Justin Tafa (+120)
Danny Barlow (-200) vs. Josh Quinlan (+170)
Miranda Maverick (-180) vs. Andrea Lee (+160)
Oban Elliott (-300) vs. Val Woodburn (+240) 

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