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Volkanovski vs Topuria UFC 298 preview & betting picks | Feb 17

Volkanovski v Topuria UFC 298 tips

Alexander Volkanovski vs Ilia Topuria

UFC 298 Main Event Odds & Fight Info

Best odds Volkanovski -128.21 at Bovada | Topuria +104 at Bovada
When Saturday, February 17 – main card from 7pm PST
Where Honda Center – Anaheim, United States
Watch live ESPN+ PPV (US), BT Sports (UK), Main Event (AU)

Alexander Volkanovski and Ilia Topuria headline UFC 298 in Anaheim this weekend in a classic contest between a dominant yet aging champion and a hungry young challenger. Volkanovski had almost cleaned out the featherweight division until Topuria emerged as a genuine title threat. The top UFC betting sites give the challenger a red-hot chance, but is he ready to dethrone one of the greatest MMA athletes of all time?

Alexander Volkanovski v Ilia Topuria fight analysis

Alex Volkanovski

Alexander Volkanovski


Ilia Topuria

Ilia Topuria

26-3-0 MMA record 14-0-0
35 Age 27
5’6″ Height 5’7″
154.5lbs Weight 146lbs
71.5″ Reach 69″
Australia Nationality Spain

Alexander Volkanovski (26-3-0) has ruled the 145-pound division with an iron fist since 2019. The Australian has defended the belt on five occasions and could have retired as the greatest featherweight of all time. He is, however, an ambitious individual, and has twice ventured up a weight class to challenge Islam Makhachev in search of double-champ status. Both attempts have failed and Volkanovski again returns to his natural weight class for this matchup.

The 35-year-old stands only 5’6″ and appears outsized against the like of Makhachev, but he will only suffer a one-inch height disadvantage in Anaheim. The clear negatives Volkanovski must overcome are his advancing years and the mental scars that might been opened in the second loss at welterweight.

Ilia Topuria (14-0-0) has earned his shot at the title with an impressive unbeaten run in the UFC, notching up six straight victories since his promotion debut in 2020. He last fought against Josh Emmett across five rounds in a perfect tune-up for this contest. The 27-year-old is a skilled striker and proved that he could carefully measure his output across 25 minutes when required. His previous four victories came within two rounds, so the performance against Emmett answered some lingering questions.

Like Volkanovski, Topuria has excellent footwork and slides in and out of range with poise and precision. He is well-rounded and has four professional wins by knockout, eight by submission, and two by decision. Topuria boasts a black belt in BJJ and might go hunting for takedowns to follow up clean strikes. As an undefeated fighter, he should have no confidence issues despite the huge pressure that comes with title bouts, although he has never faced an opponent of Volkanovski’s prowess.

Alexander Volkanovski v Ilia Topuria betting predictions

Volkanovski has been installed as the slim favourite against this dangerous challenger. Time will tell whether he can still compete against the next generation of talent. Of the two negatives, age is more likely to be a factor than mental scarring from the latest loss to Makhachev.

Whatever the outcome, this presents as a compelling spectacle between two of the best active featherweights. The questions we must answer are whether Volkanovski rise again and if Topuria is ready. We are sticking with the champ, but not with enormous confidence. This looks to be a very close fight.

Alexander Volkanovski by points


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