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Alexander Volkanovski vs. Ilia Topuria

February 17, 2024

UFC 298 boasts an incredible showcase of fights, with current featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski aiming to defend his belt against third-ranked Ilia Topuria. The action begins on Saturday, February 17 at 10:00 PM ET for the main card at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Volkanovski is a slight moneyline favorite at -125.

Alexander Volkanovski Betting Preview

Volkanovski has gone 1-2 in his last three fights, with both of his losses coming against lightweight champion Islam Makhachev. In his latest battle, he came up short against Makhachev by a first round knockout at UFC 294 in October of last year.

He has accumulated 26 victories in his career, comprising 13 knockouts, three submissions, and 10 decisions. Notably, seven of his wins concluded in a first-round finish. Moreover, two of his three losses resulted from knockouts.

Known as "The Great," he boasts a 57 percent striking accuracy and a 38 percent success rate in takedown attempts. His significant strikes ratio is impressive, averaging 6.19 landed per minute while only absorbing 3.42. This becomes a crucial aspect for the upcoming battle.

Volkanovski maintains an average of 1.84 takedowns and 0.18 submissions per 15 minutes of fight time. His defense stats are noteworthy, with a 58 percent success rate against significant strikes and a 70 percent success rate against takedowns.

Ilia Topuria Betting Preview

Topuria has successfully won in all 14 professional battles in his career and has quickly climbed the UFC rankings with a chance to claim the belt. His most recent success was a unanimous decision over Josh Emmett back at UFC on ABC 5 in June of last year.

He has established 14 victories that consist of four knockouts, eight submissions, and two decisions. In nine of his 14 wins, he ended the battle in the first round. This makes him a dangerous opponent to end the fight by submission early, which could give him an edge.

“El Matador” strikes with an accuracy of 46 percent and lands takedowns at a rate of 56 percent. He has landed 4.44 significant strikes each minute of combat and has taken on 3.05. This shows a slight positive ratio in the amount of strikes he delivers.

Topuria averages 2.19 takedowns and 1.46 submissions per 15 minutes of action. He also defends well, with a 67 percent success against significant strikes and a 93 percent success rate against takedowns.

Odds, Series Trends and Free Pick

Bookmaker offers the betting odds for UFC 298, which reveals Alexander Volkanovski as a slight favorite to maintain the belt. Setting the tone early will be key, as long as he defends well against Topuria’s strikes. Both fighters have great resumes, but the edge slightly goes to Volkanovski with his aggressive significant strike ratio.

Final Pick: Alexander Volkanovski -125