Complete UFC 298 predictions & odds: Will Ilia Topuria become the new featherweight champ?

  • The featherweight title is on the line at UFC 298
  • We break down every odd, plus who we think will win
  • Come back on Satruday night to see how well we did
Ilia Topuria
Ilia Topuria / Patricia J. Garcinuno/GettyImages
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Amanda Lemos (-135) vs. Mackenzie Dern (+114)

With the way Mackenzie Dern lost to Jessica Andrade, Amanda Lemos does have the skills to repeat a similar outcome. Aside from Andrade, Lemos may be the most powerful strawweight but Dern enters every fight with the X-factor of her elite grappling. In a short turnaround time, Dern likely did not improve much in her wrestling game, and aside from her recent loss to Zhang Weili, Lemos has displayed sufficient wrestling defense. The fight will be dependent on Dern's ability to secure takedowns and barring a defensive lapse from Lemos, Dern has not had enough time to improve in her overall striking and wrestling.

Prediction: Lemos by decision

Anthony Hernandez (-245) vs. Roman Kopylov (+200)

After opening as a slight favorite, Anthony Hernandez has grown to a sizeable favorite in his first fight as a ranked contender. Though Roman Kopylov has looked like an unstoppable force with four straight knockouts, it was not long ago that he got out-wrestled by Albert Duraev and Karl Roberson. Both men know exactly what they need to do in a classic striker vs. grappler matchup, but Hernandez has succeeded in many similar spots with his lone knockout loss coming against Kevin Holland. As the more well-rounded fighter, Hernandez has the biggest advantage with his cardio, a discrepancy that has proven to be key in such matchups.

Prediction: Hernandez by submission in round three

Merab Dvalishvili (-218) vs. Henry Cejudo (+180)

At this point in both of their careers, it is hard to see where Henry Cejudo can match Merab Dvalishvili. As an extremely durable and active fighter with the best cardio in MMA to date, Dvalishvili has looked like the best bantamweight in the world for several years. Not knowing what to make of Cejudo's fake firing of Eric Albaraccin, the mindset of the former champion has to be questioned ahead of this matchup as he discusses retirement and mental fatigue from a lifetime of combat sports with different priorities in present day as a father. Cejudo notably has the pure wrestling edge, but Dvalishvili utilizes cardio wrestling in an MMA setting better than anybody else. His striking is not the cleanest, but Cejudo has never had one-hit power and will not have that in his back pocket entering this fight.

Prediction: Dvalishvili by decision

Geoff Neal (+190) vs. Ian Machado Garry (-230)

After the chaotic events of 2023, many are seemingly forgetting the tough fight that Geoff Neal gave Shavkat Rakhmonov at UFC 285. Though Garry is rightfully the favorite, Neal matches up fairly well with the undefeated phenom with his boxing-heavy style. Regardless, Garry has always done well against boxers — dismantling Daniel Rodriguez and Song Kenan — but Neal is 2-1 as an underdog in the UFC, with the one loss to Rakhmonov. Garry is still the more diverse striker with the better grappling but will struggle to penetrate the guard of Neal, and will have to be sure not to keep his chin raised in close range exchanges.

Prediction: Garry by decision