UFC 298: Volkanovski vs. Topuria Main Card Betting Preview & Odds

Alex Murray
Alex Murray
16 Feb 24
Betting Magazine
News - UFC
UFC 298: Volkanovski vs. Topuria Main Card Betting Preview & Odds

UFC 298 at the Honda Center in Anaheim is shaping up to be one of the best events in the promotion’s recent history. There’s even a top-seven women’s strawweight matchup and a ranked heavyweight fighter on the preliminary card for crying out loud! We’ll be focusing on the stacked main card here, however, with nine ranked fighters set to throw down. In the main event, featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski is once again the moneyline favorite, but this time only by a smidge, according to most UFC betting sites and betting apps.


  • Topuria will dethrone Alexander the Great in the main event
  • The Reaper will get back in the win column against a rusty Paulo Costa
  • Ian Garry and Merab Dvalishvili will notch decision victories on the main card
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UFC 298: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Ilia Topuria Main Card Betting Odds - February 17

The main event will feature one of the champ’s toughest tests yet, with No. 3 Ilia Topuria looking to maintain his perfect record and dethrone Alexander the Great. In the co-main event, we get a smashing matchup between No. 3 middleweight Robert Whittaker and No. 6 Paulo Costa. There will also be a battle of top 10 welterweights between No. 8 Geoff Neal and No. 10 Ian Garry, and a top 3 bantamweight scrap featuring No. 3 Henry Cejudo and No. 2 Merab Dvalishvili. All odds provided by Sports Interaction.

(C) Alexander Volkanovski vs. No. 3 Ilia Topuria Featherweight Championship Main Event Bout Odds

FighterMoneylineWin by KO/TKO/DQWin by SubmissionWin by DecisionTotal Rounds
Alexander Volkanovski-125+250+1,400+225O3.5 (-139)
Ilia Topuria+105+350+450+400U3.5 (+105)

Alexander Volkanovski (26-3) will make his sixth title defense against the undefeated Ilia Topuria (14-0). This is one of the shortest lines for a Volk title fight, meaning a lot of people believe his time might be up on the featherweight throne—and they might just be right.

The trends are really not painting a rosy picture for Volkanovski, who is now 35. Topuria, meanwhile, is just 27, and still in his physical prime. Fighters who take on opponents 5+ years older than them win over 60 percent of the time, not to mention that fighters 35+ in title fights below middleweight are historically just 2-21 in UFC history. That’s a bad omen if I’ve ever seen one. 

Topuria can still be a little sloppy at times with his striking defense, but he’s faster and stronger than Volkanovski at this point in their careers, and the Aussia is not even four months out from the worst loss of his career, a first-round starching by P4P champ Islam Makhachev.

Not only did Volkanovski’s aura take a hit in that one, but it was the first time since 2013 that he’d been knocked out, which means he’ll be more susceptible to another nighty-night punch from Topuria here. Volk’s best chance is to pile on to Topuria’s lead leg, which he leans on heavily, and hope that he can disable Topuria’s charging combinations that way.

In what is shaping up as a true pick ‘em, the value is still on Topuria despite the line movement. He has shown a willingness to play the game of his opponent and beat them at it, finishing four of his six UFC challengers in the first two rounds.

He also showed a solid gas tank in dominating Josh Emmett for five rounds in his most recent fight. Whether you go with Topuria’s moneyline at +105 odds or you take him to win by knockout at +350 odds, you’re getting good value here.

No. 3 Robert Whittaker vs. No. 6 Paulo Costa Middleweight Co-Main Event Bout Odds

FighterMoneylineWin by KO/TKO/DQWin by SubmissionWin by DecisionTotal Rounds
Robert Whittaker-250+250+1,100+100O2.5 (-164)
Paulo Costa+200+400+2,000+650U2.5 (+125)

In the battle of guys who couldn’t get over the hump against The Last Stylebender, Rober Whittaker (24-7) has a clear advantage over Paulo Costa (14-2). Whittaker’s only losses since 2014 have been to men who have held the middleweight strap, and Costa hasn’t fought since the summer of 2022.

Costa has the power advantage, but his last three fights have left much to be desired, and he hasn’t proven himself against the top of the division yet. Whittaker is the smarter and more technical striker, and Costa’s boxing defense has never really been a strength, with on-his-last-legs Luke Rockhold even laying down some wood against Costa in the Brazilian’s most recent bout.

Whittaker may have been dominated by Dricus du Plessis in his last scrap, but he’s got more experience against quality opponents and is more well-rounded, Costa is also doubtless going to be carrying some rust after nearly two years outside the octagon. Whittaker hasn’t finished a win since 2017, so we like the Reaper to get a victory via decision at +100 odds, as he has in his last half dozen wins.

No. 8 Geoff Neal vs. No. 10 Ian Garry Welterweight Bout Odds

FighterMoneylineWin by KO/TKO/DQWin by SubmissionWin by DecisionTotal Rounds
Geoff Neal+190+350+2,200+650O2.5 (-143)
Ian Garry-238+250+800+150U2.5 (+110)

This one is interesting, not because we can’t decide who to back between undefeated up-and-comer Ian Garry (13-0) and veteran Geoff Neal (15-5), but because we can’t decide how Garry is going to get the W. Garry dominated Neil Magny in his last fight, falling just short of a finish on several occasions, which makes it three of the Irishman’s last five fights that have gone to the final bell.

Neal is as tough as Magny, and he’s only been finished once in his career, back in 2017. He will struggle to keep up with Garry on the feet, which is where this fight is likely to take place. Garry will use his long-range striking ability to dominate the stand up, much like Wonderboy and Magny did in wins over Neal. We’re taking Garry to win, but only by decision at +150.

No. 2 Merab Dvalishvili vs. No. 3 Henry Cejudo Bantamweight Bout Odds

FighterMoneylineWin by KO/TKO/DQWin by SubmissionWin by DecisionTotal Rounds
Merab Dvalishvili-213+550+1,600-135O2.5 (-333)
Henry Cejudo+175+600+1,800+350U2.5 (+230)

You’ve got to respect the grit of 37-year-old Henry Cejudo (16-3). He just keeps coming, but this might be his final stop, as the dominant Merab Dvalishvili (16-4) is looking to secure the first title shot of his UFC career. Both of these men are world class wrestlers, with Cejudo taking a slight advantage in the standup.

The boxing is unlikely to matter, however, as Dvalishvili has shown an otherworldly takedown motor, landing over 6.5 takedowns per 15 minutes. All the Georgian needs to do is secure ground control in two rounds to get the decision victory here, and considering he put former champ Petr Yan down 11 times, we don’t expect that to be a huge problem against an aging legend coming off of a shoulder injury. Dvalishvili has only finished four of his 16 wins, so take his -135 odds to win via decision here.

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Alex is a recent graduate of Ryerson's Sport Media program in 2019 and has been contributing to BettingTop10 since 2020. He has worked in the field of sports and sports betting for several years, including writing for theScore and daily fantasy sports website FantasyPros as one of their lead NBA news writers. A dedicated sports fan and experienced sports bettor, Alex has the knowledge to provide you with the best betting advice and the sneakiest props no matter what the sport may be.