February 16, 2024 4:35 PM
Ewan Lavender

MMA Preview – Robert Whittaker vs Paulo Costa 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!


Robert Whittaker (24-7) is coming off one of his biggest setbacks. The only fighter he had lost to in the last 10 years was Israel Adesanya and went into his fight at UFC 290 with Dricus du Plessis as the heavy favourite. He got knocked out in the second round in a crushing defeat, but the blow will have been somewhat softened after seeing the South African go on and win the title.

It seems Paulo Costa’s (14-2) biggest challenge is simply making it to the octagon these days. He has only fought twice since September 2020. That was a humbling knockout loss to Adesanya and then Marvin Vettori (2021) made it two losses in a row by shutting him down in a unanimous decision. He returned almost a year later and came out on top in a bloody war with Luke Rockhold (2022).


Whittaker will have to put that humbling loss behind him as if there is any hesitancy, Costa will capitalize, and we could see a very similar outcome. Whittaker has to learn from that fight as he matches up similarly here.

He is the more technical striker and has better wrestling and cardio. However, Costa is a more explosive striker than du Plessis, so it will be interesting to see if the Aussie approaches this any differently.

He needs to stick with what made him a champion and use his footwork to stay illusive, set traps, land combinations and mix in his wrestling. It is surprising to see him as such a big favourite.

Costa has solid takedown defence and the power to crush that damaged chin. He will also fire his thunderous kicks to the legs and body to slow Whittaker down. If the Reaper responds by trying to chase the knockout like he did with Adesanya, it will play into Costa’s hands and there is a lot of value on him.

That said, we are backing Whittaker to be too illusive, grate Costa’s face with his jab and adopt a more wrestling-heavy game plan to drain the gas tank.

Prediction: Whittaker via Decision

Value bet: Costa to win

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