Monday, April 15, 2024

UFC 298 odds, predictions, start time, Anaheim fight card: Volkanovski vs. Topuria picks by top MMA insider

The main event of UFC 298 on Saturday will either mark the coronation of a new mixed martial arts superstar or bolster the legacy of a current one. Reigning featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski will make the sixth defense of his belt against rising star Ilia Topuria to anchor the main UFC 298 fight card starting at 10 p.m. ET from the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Volkanovski has never lost at featherweight, but is coming off a knockout loss at lightweight in a failed bid to become a two-division champion. Now, he will attempt to retain the featherweight crown by warding off the No. 3-ranked Topuria, a dynamic striker who believes it’s his time to take over the top-loaded division.

Volkanovski is a -120 favorite (risk $120 to win $100), while Topuria comes back at +100 in the latest UFC 298: Volkanovski vs. Topuria odds. In the co-main event, former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker takes on one-time title challenger Paulo Costa (+185). Before locking in any UFC 298 picks, make sure you check out the MMA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine expert Daniel Vithlani

From breaking down film and following fighters and their camps closely, to tracking sharp action and betting market signals, Vithlani covers the breadth of the MMA betting landscape top to bottom. He also trains amateur boxers and speaks regularly with MMA fighters to understand the sport’s nuances.

Vithlani made his SportsLine debut last January of last year and swept the main card for UFC 283 with a 5-0 record and has been a consistent winner ever since. At UFC 292 in August, he called the upset for underdog Sean O’Malley (+210) against Aljamain Sterling (-250) in the bantamweight championship main event. Anyone who has followed Vithlani already has seen massive returns.

Now, with UFC 298: Volkanovski vs. Topuria in sight, Vithlani has studied the card from top to bottom and released his top picks and best bets. You can only see those picks at SportsLine

UFC 298: Volkanovski vs. Topuria preview 

The main event Saturday is one of the most anticipated featherweight matchups in recent memory, in large part because many MMA observers believe it could spell the end of Volkanovski’s long tenure at the top of the division.

At first, UFC fans were slow to embrace Volkanovski, mostly because he supplanted an ultra-popular champion in Holloway. However, after he won all three legs of their trilogy and defeated other contenders in dominant fashion, the sentiment turned in his favor. In fact, the 35-year-old Australian is now arguably the promotion’s most popular active champion.

Volkanovski (26-3) is known for his exceptional power at featherweight, along with a well-rounded MMA skillset and perhaps the best endurance in the division.

However, the swaggering Topuria (14-0) has been pegged as a potential title contender ever since he joined the UFC in October 2020, and the Spanish fighter is convinced it’s his time to take the belt from Volkanovski and begin his own long reign at the top.

The versatile and smooth Topuria has eight submissions and four knockouts on his record and many MMA observers believe the 27-year-old is also the best pure athlete in the division. His last appearance resulted in a five-round decision over veteran contender Josh Emmett last June in his headlining debut. You can see more UFC 298 picks at SportsLine.

UFC 298 predictions 

We’ll share one of Vithlani’s UFC 298 picks here: He is backing Merab Dvalishvili (-205) to get past Henry Cejudo (+170) in a battle of bantamweight contenders on the main card.

Cejudo (16-3), 37, is a former two-division UFC champion and former Olympic wrestler who stunningly walked away from the sport in 2020 while still in the back end of his prime. Cejudo returned to action last year and fell short in a split decision to former champion Aljamain Sterling for the bantamweight title.

Dvalishvili (16-4) lost his first two UFC outings but has since won nine consecutive fights. The 33-year-old Georgian fighter uses a combination of speed wrestling and nonstop pace to frustrate and wear down his opponents.

“If this was a five-round fight, I might be picking Cejudo. However, with only three rounds to judge, I think Dvalishvili’s pace and volume will be too much,” Vithlani told SportsLine. You can see more UFC 298 picks at SportsLine.

How to make UFC 298 picks  

Vithlani has strong picks for Volkanovski vs. Topuria and other bouts on the UFC 298 card. He’s also backing a fighter who “is highly technical and relies on fight IQ” to emerge with a dominant 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 UFC 298, all from the MMA expert who profited more than $6,200, 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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