Conmann’s 2/17/24 UFC 298 Betting Blueprint

Conmann's UFC 298 DFS Breakdown

Conmann’s UFC Betting Blueprint Intro:

Today’s UFC 298 event is a 12-fight card starting at 6:30PM with the early prelims airing on ESPN+ followed by the featured prelims on ESPN at 8:00 and then the main card on PPV at 10:00. We have five bets! Enjoy the UFC 298 – Betting Blueprint, and as always, “Let’s get to the bag!” – Mike Constantino (Conmann22)

Fight Breakdowns: Join @Conmann22 in Discord voice chat at 4pm EST

Betting Terms Key:

  • ITD means “Inside the Distance.” This is a bet meaning that the fight will be ended and not go to the judges’ scorecards. We use the ITD bet in two ways: “Fight ITD” means either fighter to win “Inside the Distance.” If you see a fighter’s name only, and not both fighters’ names, for example, “Jones ITD” means to bet “Jones Inside the Distance,” which means that we are only betting on one fighter to win by finish.
  • Some sportsbooks label the “Fighter ITD” bet as a “Double Chance.” In this case, select the fighter who we have “ITD.” As example: “Jones ITD” or, said another way, “Jones to win by Submission/KO/TKO/(DQ).”
  • Some books offer the “Fight ITD” bet as “Will the fight go the distance?” In this instance, select “NO” if we are betting the “Fight ITD.”

Andrea Lee vs. Miranda Maverick (women’s)

  • Lee is 13-8 with 8 wins by finish. “KGB” was submitted in 1 of her 8 losses. 
  • Maverick is 12-5 with 8 wins by finish, including 7 by submission.

The opening fight of the night matches up two durable fighters who have only been stopped in one of their combined 13 losses spanning across 38 total combined fights. Maverick is coming off a submission victory and Lee is on a three-fight losing streak, albeit to very tough competition. “KGB” will have the advantage on the feet in the striking department and Maverick is the better pure submission grappler and their wrestling is pretty even. Lee will have a three-inch height and a four-inch reach advantage that she will look to use to keep Maverick at distance. This is a tough fight to call the winner on and these two have trained together in the past. As you would expect based on their skill splits, Maverick had the edge in grappling class and Lee the edge in standup sparring, according to my friends that I have spoken to that have trained with them during this time period.

No Bet.

Oban Elliott vs. Valentine Woodburn

  • Elliott is 9-2 with 5 wins by finish. “The Welsh Gangster” was KO in both of his losses.
  • Woodburn is 7-1 with 5 wins by KO. “The Animal” was KO in his only loss.
  • Elliott is making his UFC debut.

Valentine Woodburn is best known for being a late-notice, sacrificial lamb for Bo Nickal during his last time out, which Nickal won via knockout just 38 seconds into the fight. Wooburn, now with a full camp, has dropped down a weight class to 170 lbs. and, with his brick house build and big power, should be a handful to deal with. Oban Elliott is making his UFC debut after a Contender Series win in which he was able to use his strong grappling to earn a decision victory. “The Welsh Gangster” is a grappler with good striking volume and he has shown toughness after getting cracked early in his last fight. This is another striker vs grappler situation where Woodburn will be going for the big KO and Elliott looking to wrestle early and often. Very tough to predict whose style will trump the other’s, leading me to pass.

No Bet.

Josh Quinlan vs. Danny Barlow

  • Quinlan is 6-1 with all 6 wins by finish. 
  • Barlow is 7-0 with 5 wins by finish. “Left Hand 2 God” is making his UFC debut.

Josh Quinlan shit the bed in his last fight, a disappointing loss to Trey Waters. Quinlan is someone that I had high hopes for with his lethal left hook and good grappling, but he looked lost his last time out chasing Waters around looking for a one-punch KO. Danny Barlow is a long, powerful puncher who will have a two-inch height and a seven-inch reach advantage here and with a nickname like “Left Hand 2 God,” you could imagine he is going to look for the big KO. Barlow is a southpaw who mixes in good kicks as he looks to land the big left. Quinlan struggled vs. the length of Waters in his last fight and now faces a similar style of opponent, which is concerning in the striking exchanges, but Quinlan will have the advantage on the ground if he is able to get the fight to the floor. With each fighter having the ability to win via KO and Quinlan with a sizable grappling advantage, I like this fight to end inside the distance.

I bet fight ITD and used it in a parlay.

Mingyang Zhang vs. Brendson Ribeiro

  • Zhang is 16-6 with all 16 wins by finish, including 10 by KO. “Mountain Tiger” was stopped in 5 of his 6 losses. 
  • Ribeiro is 15-5 with all 15 wins by finish. “The Gorilla” was stopped in 4 of his 5 losses.
  • Both fighters are making their UFC debut.

Mingyang Zhang vs. Brendson Ribeiro is a VIOLENCE spot if there is ever one! Two debuting UFC fighters with a 100% finish rate in their combined 31 victories and nine of their 11 losses, they have only seen the scorecards twice in 42 fights. In fact, other than the two decisions, there has only been one other fight that entered the third round. Furthermore, Zhang’s last 13 fights and Ribeiro’s last six have all ended in round 1. Don’t blink! Not much to add, both fighters are kill or be killed fighters making their debut with an insane finishing rate.

I bet fight to NOT start round 3 and used it in a parlay.

Rinya Nakamura vs. Carlos Vera

  • Nakamura is 8-0 with 6 wins by finish. 
  • Vera is 11-3 with 6 wins by finish, including 5 by submission. “Pequeno” was submitted in 2 of his 3 losses.
  • Vera is making his UFC debut.

Rinya Nakamura is an undefeated 8-0 fighter with huge power and an Olympic-level wrestling background who pivoted to MMA during Covid, leaving the International wrestling scene in his prime. Carlos Vera took this fight on two weeks’ notice and has a grappling background and style of fighting that may lead to doom here vs. Nakamura. At 36 years old and getting his first sniff of UFC, he is being matched up with a killer in Nakamura, who will have Vera covered in all aspects of the game. I was very surprised to see Nakamura at only -175 to win inside the distance. I was honestly expecting a -400 or greater. I will happily load into Nakamura to win by finish at this price and think that he can choose how he would like to win, by KO or submission.

I bet Nakamura to win ITD -175, risking 5 to win 2.85 units.

Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Junior Tafa

  • de Lima is 21-9-1 with 17 wins by finish, including 14 by KO. “Pezao” was stopped in 7 of his 9 losses.
  • Tafa is 5-1 with all 5 wins by KO.

In a crazy turn of events, Marcos de Lima will now fight Junior Tafa, the younger brother of his originally scheduled opponent, Justin Tafa, after the elder Tafa pulled out due to injury just prior to weigh ins. Little brother was already there, licensed and medically cleared, so the UFC got a contract done and Junior weighed in with just five minutes to spare, stepping up in what is one of the shortest notice UFC fights in history. Props to Junior for stepping up, but I think he will have his hands full here with de Lima, who is the more complete MMA fighter and should look to land takedowns vs. the very one-dimensional Tafa, who is an exceptional striker with big power. I fully expect this fight to not need the judges and prefer the de Lima side, but I could see a scenario with Tafa starching him. I will pass.

No Bet.

Amanda Lemos vs. Mackenzie Dern (women’s)

  • Lemos is 13-3-1 with 11 wins by finish including 8 by KO. “Amandinha” was stopped in 2 of her 3 losses.
  • Dern is 13-4 with 7 wins by submission. Mackenzie was KO in 1 of her 4 losses.

Amanda Lemos last in her last fight, which was a title shot vs. Champion, Weili Zhang, and will look to bounce back here vs. the one-dimensional Mackenzie Dern. That one dimension however, is world class, which is her grappling as she is one of the best female Jiu Jitsu practitioners in the world. Lemos is no slouch on the ground and will have the biggest edge in this matchup, which is in the striking. Lemos is a hard hitting, powerful striker, however, she is a low volume striker who wins moments, not minutes. As good as Dern is on the ground, the fight starts on the feet and Dern has shown below average wrestling and the fight might not get there, which would be a huge problem for her and the outcome that I expect. I like Lemos to dictate where the fight takes place and beat up Mackenzie on the feet and may even find a finish.

I bet Lemos -130, risking 2.6 to win 2 units.

Anthony Hernandez vs. Roman Kopylov

  • Hernandez is 11-2 with 9 wins by finish. “Fluffy” was stopped in both of his losses.
  • Kopylov is 12-2 with 11 wins by KO. Roman was submitted in 1 of his 2 losses.

This should be a really fun fight and is another striker vs. grappler affair. Anthony Hernandez is a tireless wrestler, averaging just under seven takedowns per 15 minutes in the Octagon and Roman Kopylov has huge power, with 11 of his 12 wins by KO. Both fighters are very aggressive, which leads to violence on both sides of the coin, as they combine for 20 of their 22 wins and three of their four losses ending by finish. I fully expect an all-action affair here with a lot of scrambling and striking. I anticipate Kopylov to hurt Hernandez at some point on the feet and I expect “Fluffy” to land some takedowns in what I envision to be a back and forth fight. I lean Kopylov as the underdog, but I prefer the violence spot with fight to end inside the distance.

I bet Fight to end ITD and used it in a parlay.

Merab Dvalishvili vs. Henry Cejudo

  • Dvalishvili is 16-4 with 4 wins by finish. “The Machine” was submitted in 1 of his 4 losses.
  • Cejudo is 16-3 with 8 wins by KO. “The Messenger” was KO in 1 of his 3 losses.

If you are a fan of wrestling, this is the fight for you with former two-division UFC Champion and Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler, Henry Cejudo, vs. the takedown machine, Merab Dvalishvili. “The Machine” averages 6.55 takedowns per 15 minutes in the octagon and has exceptional cardio. Cejudo, now 37 years old, lost to Aljamain Sterling his last time out, which was his return to fighting after a three-year hiatus. “Aljo” is a teammate of Merab and will be able to give crucial insight on Cejudo’s strengths and vulnerabilities. Cejudo looked okay in the fight, but was outgunned by Sterling, who had the striking volume edge, and surprisingly, the wrestling advantage with four takedowns to Cejudo’s three. With this fight being a three-round, 15 minute sprint, it will be hard for Henry to score if he is constantly defending the takedown, cardio, and striking output of Merab, which I expect to be turbo-charged. Conversely, Cejudo could stifle Merab’s takedowns and hurt him on the feet. This is a great fight and a perfect time of each fighter’s career to see where they stand, respectfully. I will sit this one out and enjoy the fight.

No Bet.

Geoff Neal vs. Ian Garry

  • Neal is 15-5 with 11 wins by finish, including 9 by KO. “Handz of Steel” was stopped in 3 of his 5 losses.
  • Garry is 13-0 with 8 wins by finish, including 7 by KO.

Geoff Neal vs. Ian Garry will happen after all, months after their original fight was cancelled along with another fight for Garry falling through in December. Neal is coming off a submission loss to Shavkat Rakhmonov and Garry is undefeated at 13-0 and is 6-0 in the UFC. Garry is a very good striker with a great understanding of distance and range, along with an underrated ground game. Neal is a power puncher with good volume and has won nine of his 15 fights by KO and has knocked down his opponents eight times in his 10 UFC fights. Neal packs a big punch, but it is nothing that Garry has not seen before, and we will get the best version of Ian, as he has been embedded with Chute Boxe team in Brazil for this camp, training with Charles Oliveira and many other top-tier UFC fighters. Neal is always live for a KO, but I think the volume of Garry over time will do enough damage to pick up the victory.

I bet Garry and used him in a parlay.

Robert Whittaker vs. Paulo Costa

  • Whittaker is 24-7 with 14 wins by finish. “Bobby Knuckles” was stopped in 4 of his 7 losses.
  • Costa is 14-2 with 12 wins by finish including 11 by KO. “Borrachinha” was KO in 1 of his 2 losses.

This fight should be a strikers’ delight between former middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker, and Paulo Costa, who is returning off a near two-year layoff. Whittaker is a well-rounded fighter with excellent kickboxing and improved wrestling. Costa is a very powerful striker with 11 of his 14 wins by KO. Costa has good volume and output to compliment his power and throws from all angles, including big head kicks. Whittaker is the more technical kickboxer and should win over time if Costa does not land an early KO. I don’t have a desire to lay -250 on Whittaker and don’t trust Costa enough as a dog.

Pass, No Bet.

Alexander Volkanovski vs. Ilia Topuria

  • Volkanovski is 26-3 with 16 wins by finish, including 13 by KO. “The Great” was KO in 2 of his 3 losses.
  • Topuria is 14-0 with 12 wins by finish.

The king of 145 lbs. returns to defend his reign vs. an undefeated, powerful challenger in Ilia Topuria. Volkanovski went up to lightweight to fight Islam Makhachev twice, losing both times, but he has never lost in the UFC at 145 lbs. Topuria is undefeated at 14-0 and is a powerful boxer and solid grappler with a black belt in BJJ. Volkanovski mixes it all up very well with high volume striking, good leg kicks, and wrestling. Both fighters have great cardio, making this a fun scrap. It is so hard to pick Volkanovski to lose when he has yet to do so and has beaten everyone put in front of him. I think the line at a near pick ’em offers extreme value on Volkanovski, and that is the way I am going.

I bet Volkanovski -125, risking 2.5 to win 2 units.

UFC 298 – Official Bets: 

  • 7:30: Quinlan/Barlow fight ITD & Kopylov/Hernandez fight ITD -101 (2.02 to win 2 units)
  • 8:00: Mingyang/Ribeiro fight to NOT start round 3 & Garry ML -143 (2.86 to win 2 units)
  • 8:30: Nakamura ITD -175 (5 to win 2.85 units)
  • 9:30: Lemos ML -130 (2.6 to win 2 units)
  • 12:00: Volkanovski ML -125 (2.5 to win 2 units)

Continue Reading: Conmann’s UFC 298 DraftKings Plays


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