February 16, 2024 4:32 PM
Ewan Lavender

MMA Preview – Rinya Nakamura vs Carlos Vera at UFC 298

Click here for today’s sports betting tips from our expert analysts!


When is UFC 298? Sunday 18th February, 2024 - 01:00 (UK)

Where is UFC 298? Honda Center, Anaheim, California (US)

Where can I get tickets for UFC 298? Click here to buy tickets for UFC 298

What channel is UFC 298 on? TNT Sports 2

Where can I stream UFC 298? TNT Sports subscribers can stream the fight online via the TNT Sports website and Discovery+

For viewers in the United States, the event will be shown live on ESPN+ and you can sign up for access as part of a Disney Bundle here!


Rinya Nakamura (8-0) was scheduled to fight Brady Hiestand who had to pull out due to injury. That may be a blessing in disguise for Hiestand as Nakamura is becoming the bogeyman of the bantamweight division. He is a decorated wrestler and steamrolled his way through the Road to the UFC tournament and his first two UFC fights. He starched Toshiomi Kazama (2023) on debut and the shut down Fernie Garcia (2023) in a unanimous decision.

Carlos Vera (11-3) bravely steps up to the plate. He last fought on The Ultimate Fighter 31 although he did not get past the first round losing to eventual winner Brad Katona (2023). Prior to that, he compiled an impressive four-fight streak under the Fury FC banner which included submissions over Kale Moniz and Isaiah Gutierrez in 2022.


Nakamura is a colossal favourite, and it is easy to understand why. His wrestling is obviously top tier which gives him the confidence to throw the kitchen sink at his opponents. He is extremely powerful and explosive which has given him a lot of success and we expect him to approach this the same way.

Vera is also a powerful striker and has excellent jiu-jitsu. However, he does not have the tools to defend the takedown or even the incoming fire on the feet. We expect Nakamura to try and get the job done with his hands.

If he does not knock him down, he will take him down and try and finish him there. Vera has the ground skills to defend the submission early in the fight and even threaten the guillotine when Nakamura shoots in, but we expect the Japanese native to eventually find the knockout.

Prediction: Nakamura via KO/TKO

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