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Robert Whittaker vs. Paulo Costa

February 17, 2024

UFC 298 features an impressive lineup of bouts, including a middleweight co-main event clash between Robert Whittaker, ranked third, and Paulo Costa, ranked sixth. The main card kicks off on Saturday, February 17, at 10:00 PM ET at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Whittaker holds a moderate moneyline advantage at -240.

Robert Whittaker Betting Preview

Whittaker has gone 2-2 in his last four fights, which have been against some of the best fighters that the UFC can offer in the middleweight division. His most recent battle was a second-round TKO defeat against Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 290 in July of last year.

He has achieved 24 victories throughout his career, with nine knockouts, five submissions, and 10 decisions. Notably, only two of his 24 wins occurred in the first round.

He has earned the nickname "The Reaper" and showcases a 42 percent striking accuracy and a 39 percent takedown success rate. With an impressive significant strike ratio of 4.47 per minute and minimal absorption at 3.39, these stats are crucial for the upcoming battle.

Whittaker maintains an average of 0.85 takedowns per 15 minutes but has yet to secure a submission in the UFC. His defense is commendable, boasting a 50 percent success rate against significant strikes and an 80 percent success rate against takedowns.

Paulo Costa Betting Preview

Costa is 1-2 over his last three fights, but was able to find success in the last time he stepped foot in the octagon. This was a unanimous decision win over Luke Rockhold at UFC 278 in August of 2022.

He has amassed 14 victories, including 11 knockouts, four submissions, and two decisions. In nine of these wins, he concluded the fight within the first round. Regarding defeats, he experienced one knockout loss and one decision loss.

Nicknamed "The Eraser," he maintains a 60 percent striking accuracy and successfully executes takedowns at a 75 percent rate. His combat statistics include landing an average of 6.50 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 6.38. This leaves little room for error in his striking.

Costa, on average, secures 0.53 takedowns per 15 minutes of action. His defensive prowess is evident with a 47 percent success rate against significant strikes and an impressive 79 percent success rate against takedowns.

Odds, Series Trends and Free Pick

Bookmaker has the odds for UFC 298, which showcases Robert Whittaker as a moderate favorite to succeed. Bettors that believe Whittaker will win should choose to add him to a parlay or consider a prop bet that will likely pay out more than his current moneyline.

For this scenario, look for Whittaker to potentially win by a decision. His steady striking and good defenses should help him last the entire 15 minutes.

Final Pick: Robert Whittaker -240