UFC 298: Volkanovski vs. Topuria will feature an exciting welterweight bout between Geoff “Handz of Steel” Neal (+185) and Ian “The Future” Garry (-225). It is a clash of two very distinct fighters, each boasting their unique set of skills and fighting styles. In regards to Geoff Neal, we have an already well-established welterweight with striking power that has put a number of rivals on the mat. On the other hand, we have Ian Garry, a rising star, fresh blood in the division with a ton of hype behind his name.

Geoff “Handz of Steel” Neal showcases a professional record of 13 wins and 4 losses with his UFC career being at a crossroad after consecutive losses to Stephen Thompson and Neil Magny. As his nickname implies, Neal’s primary offensive weapon is his striking ability. He is a southpaw whose punching power is well-regarded in the welterweight division and has also proven to hold enough resilience against heavy-duty attacks. He is a force that moves forward, unafraid to push the pace and engage in a stand-up war.

On the opposite corner, Ian “The Future” Garry, the young prodigy from Dublin, Ireland, who has been creating quite a buzz. Though new to the UFC, he certainly is not new to the world of MMA, holding a flawless professional record of 8 victories and zero losses, demonstrating his dominating presence in the cage. His style leans heavily on his striking skills, and his reach is also noted to have given his previous opponents significant issues. Besides his physical attributes, his understanding of the tactical aspect of MMA sets him apart. The way he systematically uses his range, maintains a disciplined guard, and selects his shots shows a fighter far beyond his years. This amalgamation of attributes is what makes him the bookmaker’s favorite for this bout.

However, let us delve deeper into the stylistic matchup and prevailing conditions that could affect the outcome of the fight.

Firstly, considering the striking power of Geoff Neal, his chances highly depend on whether he can land clean shots on Garry. Neal’s last two losses have exposed his struggles against fighters who prioritize technique and distance control. Ian Garry, with his height, reach advantage, and impeccable distance control, fits precisely into that mold. Garry has consistently shown a high level of striking accuracy and head movement, allowing him to avoid significant damage while delivering his own.

Moreover, Garry’s breadth of skill does not just lie within his stand-up game. He has shown versatility in his abilities by implementing impressive take-downs, demonstrating his wrestling prowess, and hinting at a well-rounded skill set. Neal, who has mostly displayed his striking skills during his career, may find himself lacking options if Garry decides to take the fight to the ground.

In grappling scenarios, Garry also possesses the upper hand. Despite Neal showcasing defensive capabilities, he has shown vulnerability to take-downs. With Garry’s long range and excellent wrestling, he could exploit Neal’s weaknesses to pull him into unfamiliar territory and grind down his energy over several rounds.

While it is worth mentioning Neal’s experience and toughness could potentially outshine Garry’s inexperiences under the spotlight, the odds seem to tilt more towards the Irishman’s favor.

Let’s factor in the circumstances surrounding this fight. While the newer fighters usually carry the burden of proof, the opposite seems to be the case here. Neal, coming off back-to-back losses, is under immense pressure to prove he is still a contender in the welterweight division. The added pressure could work in Garryโ€™s favor. Conversely, Garry, bearing expectations to live up to his hype, seems unfazed by the spotlight and appears more than ready to meet the challenge head-on.

Taking into account all the elements, it becomes reasonable to predict that Ian “The Future” Garry will defeat Geoff “Handz of Steel” Neal. This assertion is based on Garry’s superior distance control, striking accuracy, versatility, and mental game. It does not signify that Neal doesn’t stand a chance but, considering the strengths and weaknesses of both fighters, Garry has a considerably upper hand.

In conclusion, the fight between Geoff Neal and Ian Garry at UFC 298: Volkanovski vs. Topuria is more than just another welterweight matchup. It’s the crossroad of two careers: a battle-tested veteran trying to regain his footing against a rising star eager to solidify his position in the rankings. While anything can happen in the cage, Ian Garry, with his technical brilliance and perfect record, makes the better case to emerge victorious. His path to stardom has so far been unblemished, and it seems set to continue, at least for now.