UFC 298 Preview

Published on 17 February 2024 at 16:00

UFC 298 is fast-approaching as the MMA community becomes more excited for a very anticipated fight card. The Honda Center will host the event in Anaheim, California as Alexander Volkanovski is set to defend his UFC Featherweight Championship against the undefeated fighter, Ilia Topuria. The Co-Main Event will be an eye-catcher as well with former UFC Middleweight Champion, Robert Whittaker, taking on #6 Middleweight contender, Paulo Costa. Here is everything you need to know before this fight card kicks off.


Early Prelims

Andrea Lee vs Miranda Maverick (UFC Women's Flyweight Bout) - Lee has been unlucky in her last three bouts as she currently stands on a three-fight losing streak with decision losses to Natalia Silva, Maycee Barber and Viviane Araujo. The #15 Flyweight contender has been in a similar position before with a three-fight losing streak before earning a submission and TKO win in 2021. KGB will be looking for redemption in California.

Maverick had two fights last year with a unanimous decision loss against Jasmine Jasudavicius at UFC 289 and a third-round submission win against Priscila Cachoeira at UFC 291. The Missouri-born fighter has proven to be a submission artist as despite only having one KO/TKO win in, she has earned eight submission victories in her career and has the opportunity to enter the Flyweight rankings if she get another one to the record.


Oban Elliott vs Val Woodburn (UFC Welterweight Bout) - Elliott makes his debut at UFC 298 after earning a contract with the organisation through Dana White's Contender Series (DWCS). The Welsh Gangster is very well-known from Cage Warriors as he has fought 10 times in the company starting from his MMA debut. Oban Elliott will look to put on a show in the Honda Center and get a good first impression.

Woodburn made his UFC debut at UFC 290 in his last fight when he lost to Bo Nickal by knockout in the first round. The Animal last earned a stoppage win in 2021 when he was with fighting organisation, Combat Night. With five out of seven victories ending by KO/TKO, questions will be asked whether Woodburn can comeback from his UFC debut loss and get his first win in the promotion.


Josh Quinlan vs Danny Barlow (UFC Welterweight Bout) - Quinlan's undefeated record came to an end in 2023 when he lost by unanimous decision against Trey Waters at UFC Vegas 72. Bushido has finished every opponent he has defeated and has never been stopped himself as he claims four knockout victories and two submission wins. Josh Quinlan will aim to get back in the win column and try to become a threat in the Welterweight division.

Barlow makes his UFC debut in the Honda Center after earning a UFC contract from DWCS when obtained a first-round knockout win against Raheam Forest. LEFTHAND2GOD is undefeated in his MMA career with seven wins, four of those have ended by KO/TKO and one other by submission. It would be a dream for Danny Barlow to not only a win on his debut but carry on his knockout winning streak which is currently on three


Preliminary Card

Zhang Mingyang vs Brendson Ribeiro (UFC Light Heavyweight Bout) - Mingyang makes his UFC debut in California after showing a pleasing run of form. The Mountain Tiger is currently on a nine-fight unbeaten streak as he has stopped every opponent he has faced in his MMA career. The Chinese fighter has not fought since June 2022 as he looks to enter the UFC and leave with a 100% finish rate on his debut.

Ribeiro will also be making his UFC debut at UFC 298 after he earned a contract in DWCS with a first-round knockout win over Bruno Lopes. The Gorilla has finished every opponent he has faced as out of the 15 victories he holds on his MMA record, nine have ended by KO/TKO and six have ended by submission. The Brazilian fighter will look to continue his three-fight winning streak and make a good impression on his debut.


Rinya Nakamura vs Carlos Vera (UFC Bantamweight Bout) - Nakamura made his professional MMA debut in 2021 and debuted in the UFC last year as he has currently fought twice in the organisation with two wins, one ending by a first-round knockout and another ending by unanimous decision. Hybrid has been an interesting prospect in the UFC as with the 75% finish rate and the undefeated record he holds, Rinya will look to make the crowd go wild with success at UFC 298.

Vera will be making his UFC debut at the Honda Center after his successful four-fight winning streak in Fury FC. Pequeno has been seen as a submission artist as five of his 11 victories have ended with the opponent submitting to the Ecuadorian fighter. Carlos Vera will not only have the opportunity to strike positively on his debut but become the first fighter to defeat Rinya Nakamura.


Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs Junior Tafa (UFC Heavyweight Bout) - De Lima had a very mixed 2023 as despite earning a unanimous decision win over Waldo Cortes-Acosta, he suffered an early TKO loss to Derrick Lewis after being knocked down with a flying knee at UFC 291. Pezao has stopped 17 of his 21 defeated opponents with 13 of those coming by KO/TKO and four ending by submission. Marcos is currently ranked #15 in the Heavyweight rankings as he will try to maintain his contender's spot in Anaheim.

Tafa has stepped in very short-notice to fight at UFC 298 after his brother, Justin Tafa, suffered an injury during training. The Juggernaut's most recent fight was an astonishing one after knocking out Parker Porter in the first round at UFC Singapore. With all of his career wins ending by KO/TKO, Tafa will look to carry on his 100% finish rate and possibly enter the Heavyweight rankings if he is successful in California.


Amanda Lemos vs Mackenzie Dern (UFC Women's Strawweight Bout) - Lemos fell short in her last bout as she fought for the Strawweight title against Zhang Weili but lost by unanimous decision at UFC 292. Amandinha is not shy when facing her opponents as she has stopped eight of them by knockout along with three by submission. A win for the Brazilian fighter will not only redeem her last fight but will keep her in a spot which could possibly give her another title shot.

Dern was only slightly successful last year as she did grab a unanimous decision victory over Angela Hill at UFC Vegas 73 but lost to former Strawweight Champion, Jessica Andrade, at UFC 295. The Brazilian fighter is seen as a submission threat as seven of her 13 wins have ended with an opponent submitting to her. After being stopped for the first time, which occurred with a knockout at UF C 295, Mackenzie will aim for redemption and have the opportunity to boost up the Strawweight rankings.


Main Card

Anthony Hernandez vs Roman Kopylov (UFC Middleweight Bout) - Hernandez is currently on a four-fight winning with his most recent win coming by TKO against Edmen Shahbazyan at UFC Vegas 73. The #15 Middleweight contender has proven to be a tough opponent and show why he is in the rankings as he has finished nine out of the 11 opponents he has defeated. The Dunnigan-born fighter fights in his home state of California as he looks to please the crowd with a win to keep his contender's spot.

Kopylov is also on a four-fight winning streak as he has gone on a fiery run in the Middleweight division with plenty of knockouts. The Russian fighter has only had one decision win which came on his professional MMA debut as since then, he has been on a knockout run as 11 of his opponents have been stopped with a KO or TKO. Roman has a brilliant opportunity to enter the Middleweight rankings and could do it in terrific fashion if he gets a knockout win in enemy territory.


Merab Dvalishvili vs Henry Cejudo (UFC Bantamweight Bout) - Dvalishvili only had one fight last year but had a very successful one as he defeated Petr Yan with a dominant unanimous decision win which includes 49 attempted takedowns during the fight. The Machine is currently on a nine-fight winning streak and has only stopped one fighter in the UFC which occurred at UFC 266 when he defeated Marlon Moraes by second-round TKO. Merab will aim to maintain his #2 Bantamweight ranking as a win could earn him a title shot against the winner of Sean O'Malley and Marlon Vera.

Cejudo last fought at UFC 288 when he lost to Aljamain Sterling by split decision for the Bantamweight title as he had the opportunity to become a two-time champion of the 135-pound division. Before his title loss, Triple C earned big wins over Demetrious Johnson, TJ Dillashaw and Dominick Cruz as he did become a simultaneous two-division champion with the Bantamweight and Flyweight titles. Henry will aim to stop Merab's winning streak and enter the argument of having the next title opportunity in the future.


Geoff Neal vs Ian Garry (UFC Welterweight Bout) - Neal became unfortunate in his most recent fight when he lost to Shavkat Rakhmonov at UFC 285 despite the fight being a Fight of the Year contender. Handz of Steel has shown to be a dangerous fighter as 10 out of 14 opponents have been stopped which includes eight KO/TKO wins. The #8 Welterweight contender has the chance to redeem his last fight and have another opportunity of beating an undefeated fighter.

Garry had the perfect 2023 with three fights and three wins as this included a TKO win over Song Kenan at UFC 285, a TKO win over Daniel Rodriguez at UFC Charlotte and a unanimous decision win over Neil Magny at UFC 292. The Future has favoured the knockout as out of the 13 win he has, seven of those have ended by knockout along with one submission victory. The #10 Welterweight contender has the chance to move up the rankings and prepare to face a top contender in the division. 


Robert Whittaker vs Paulo Costa (UFC Middleweight Bout) - Whittaker missed the opportunity to fight for the Middleweight title last year as during UFC 290, he lost by second-round TKO to the now current champion of the division, Dricus Du Plessis. The former UFC Middleweight Champion has not had a stoppage win since UFC Kansas City in April 2017 when he defeated Jacare Souza by second-round TKO. The Reaper will search for redemption as he looks to maintain his #3 ranking in the division and allow him to have one last shot of title glory.

Costa has not fought since UFC 278 when he defeated Luke Rockhold by unanimous decision as he has been mainly out of action due to injury last year. The Eraser has stopped every opponent he has been victorious against apart from Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero as he has earned 11 KO/TKO wins and one submission victory. Paulo Costa has an opportunity to return in significant fashion with a win and boost up the rankings as he currently is three behind the Australian.


Alexander Volkanovski vs Ilia Topuria (UFC Featherweight Bout) - Volkanovski remains to be undefeated in the UFC Featherweight division as his last bout in the weight class ended perfectly with a third-round TKO win over Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290. The Great did aim to become a two-division champion last year as he faced Islam Makhachev twice for the Lightweight belt but lost on both occasions. The Featherweight Champion looks to equal Jose Aldo's record with the most UFC Featherweight title defences as Volkanovski will look to be the first fighter to stop Topuria and be seen as the greatest Featherweight in MMA history.

Topuria only fought once last year but made a deadly statement for a title shot as he dominantly defeated Josh Emmett by unanimous decision at UFC Jacksonville. El Matador has had six fights in the UFC and has looked very dangerous ever since entering the Octagon as the Spanish fighter has earned three KO/TKO victories, one submission triumph and two decision wins in the organisation. The title challenger will face his toughest test to date as he could become the first fighter to defeat Volkanovski in the UFC Featherweight division and take UFC Gold.

Will Volkanovski remain as the greatest UFC Featherweight or will Topuria become the new champion? Which fight are you looking forward to the most?

What are your predictions?


Written by Charlie Oxtoby


Instagram: charlie_oxtoby

MMA Instagram: undisputed._.mma

Twitter: Charlie_Oxtoby1

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