UFC 298: California dreamin’ and a last hoorah
February 17th is an interesting date for the UFC, because that is the date when one of the best pound-for-pound fighters of the past several years, Alexander Volkanovski, defends his featherweight crown. He will do so against one of the brightest-looking young talents in the organization, Ilia Topuria.
This duel is really compelling as Anaheim’s UFC 298 headliner because, in opposing corners, we’ve got two fighters who have vastly different amounts of experience fighting at the championship level. This will be Volk’s 9th title fight and his 6th title defense. Topuria, on the other hand, fights at this level for the first time in his career.
The absolute confidence of Ilia Topuria has been very entertaining to follow. Simply, this is a guy who doesn’t mind calling his shots and manifesting his future. If you want to be confident in your picks and bet placements too, make sure to go to casportsbettingsites.com.
In the meantime, let’s look at the prospects of this amazing UFC PPV, other than the main event.
Henry Cejudo’s last chance to add to his legacy
We’ve been waiting for this fight’s announcement for almost half of a year. Originally talked about for August of 2023. Henry Cejudo vs Merab Dvalishvili is bound to give us the next number 1 contender and challenger for the bantamweight strap.
Triple C already had his opportunity to reclaim the bantamweight crown, in May of last year. After a razor-close battle with then-champion Aljamain Sterling, Cejudo was left empty-handed, as judges saw the “Funkmaster” edging the fight in his favor.
The Georgian machine Merab Dvalishvili is eagerly waiting and waiting for his shot. Sheer patience and great attitude, mostly towards his good friend and training partner (talking about Aljo) was something admirable to see, in a world where most people search for that elite athlete, who won’t show a great deal of individualism and typical self-centeredness.
Henry Cejudo’s last hoorah is upon us, but Merab’s first elite dance awaits him. What will prevail: the experience of the greatest combat athlete of all time or Georgian’s relentless fire and long-awaited cry for glory?
UFC 298 is a great stage for several top prospects
UFC 298 at the Honda Center will host some top prospects from different divisions. Ian Garry is a red-hot character in the UFC’s welterweight division nowadays and he’ll square up against Geoff Neal, who is a tough cookie for anyone.
Many are familiar with Garry’s turbulent past month or so, but even without that stimulating storyline – Irishman’s back and forth with “Handz Of Steel” had litten up a truly grudge-filled rivalry between the two. Showing up with a t-shirt of Geoff Neal’s mugshot and the latter exploding on him with comments about seriously hurting Garry – this one will be fiery! A chance for Garry to show if he’s really the real deal, against a beast like Neal.
Other than that, Tatiana Suarez returns, after having two successful outings in 2023 and returning from almost a 4 year absence. We know that Suarez is one of the absolute best female grapplers in women’s MMA and she is a danger for both 115 pounds, as well as 125lbs divisions. Her opponent will be the most recent title challenger for the strawweight crown – a dangerous, hard-hitting Amanda Lemos.
And finally (for fights that were announced until now) – Dagestan’s middleweight hope Ikram Aliskerov will have a tricky challenge in Anthony “Fluffy” Hernandez. Ikram impressed until now, with two blistering 1st round KOs of Phil Hawes and Warley Alves, respectively. His complete skill set looks like a perfect base for a future champ and this is another step forward, climbing up to the top of that MW ladder.