Brad Katona vs. Garrett Armfield prediction | UFC 297 1

This weekend marks the first PPV of 2024 for the UFC, and although it isn’t star-studded at the top, there are plenty of great matchups throughout the card, including a prelim bout between Brad Katona and Garrett Armfield.

The only fighter to win the Ultimate Fighter twice, Brad Katona won his most recent season of TUF in his last fight out against Cody Gibson. The 32-year-old will be looking to make his run in the UFC last longer this time around by earning a second consecutive UFC victory this weekend against Armfield.

Garrett Armfield hasn’t been very active since joining the UFC in July of 2022 on short notice to fight in his debut. He fought up in weight, moving up to featherweight, but had his second fight in the UFC at his normal weight of 135 lbs. He made quick work of Toshiomi Kazama inside the first round in that bout and would love to add another finish to his portfolio on Saturday.

Betting Odds

Katona finds himself as a near two-to-one favorite, but the powerful striking of Armfield could make for some great value:

Fight Breakdown

Brad Katona is 32 years old with a pro record of 13-2, with nine of those wins coming by way of decision. His game is predicated around movement and his gas tank. Brad loves to move laterally to create distance and angles before planting his feet to throw as his opponent continues to work into position. He uses a blitz-style offense to close distance quickly to throw in tight before maneuvering back out of range or grabbing the clinch.

Katona likes to feint these entries often to gather reads before committing to anything. He leads with the left hand a lot which can make his entries a bit easier to react to but when he mixes in the right hand as he blitzes, he finds more consistent success. He loves to dig to the body with hooks and knees also, especially in the clinch. His clinch work has been crucial to his success on the feet when he doesn’t find the mark on his blitzing attacks. He gets great leverage and head position to control his opponent and drives knees into the body, slowly draining their gas tank.

Defensively, Katona eats a lot of shots but uses a disciplined high guard to lessen the impact of most of them. With only a 64” reach, he’s often at a major reach disadvantage and this leads to him getting caught at the end of straight shots when he doesn’t gauge his distances correctly and tries to reset in range of his opponent. He likes to roll with the right hand when his opponent throws it and it often leads to him getting tagged on or behind his left ear. 

Brad’s motor is what sets him apart from a lot of other bantamweights. When both fighters are fresh, he isn’t always on the winning end of exchanges on the feet, but he’s durable and keeps the same pace for the entire fight. He’s gone the full 25 minutes on the regional scene and never stopped moving on his way to a unanimous decision win. If he can force his opponent to swing and miss or catch his guard in round 1, the speed difference becomes more and more apparent which makes it easier for him to implement his striking plan.

His opponent is the 27-year-old prospect Garrett Armfield. Armfield is 9-3 as a pro with eight of his nine wins coming inside the distance (six by knockout). His last fight was back at his natural weight class of 135 lbs, and he was able to get his opponent out of there in the first, so there isn’t a lot of high-level experience on Armfield’s side. He has great power and slick boxing that is punishing when he lands flush.

Armfield’s jab is very effective. He has good timing to land it at the end of his range and it carries a lot of power for a bantamweight. His straight right hand is even more powerful and lands just as accurately when he’s moving forward. Even in his bout against the much larger David Onama, his punches looked to deal a lot of damage when he landed and that’s even more true at bantamweight.

Defensively, Armfield keeps his right hand close to the chin and has quick reaction time to parry the jab of conventional fighters. He relies on quick, small movements with his feet and head to avoid his opponent’s bigger shots before throwing his counterstrikes. His best defense is his timing to catch his opponent with counterstrikes as they look to throw their own offense. He’s quick to the mark with the jab and can land the right hand with equally impressive timing.

While his timing is impressive, it hides a lack of speed in the striking offense of Armfield. When he applies pressure and is the one moving forward, his strikes are accurate but slower and an opponent with good movement can make him swing and miss. He often leaves his first strike hanging out there and pauses before firing his second and can get caught easily with counters in those moments.

The wrestling of Armfield has been used well defensively but he’s yet to show much in the way of offensive grappling in the UFC. He defends takedowns well against the cage and is always looking for a chance to grab an underhook and reverse position. Like Katona, he understands the importance of head position in these clinch exchanges and uses it well to control his opponents against the cage. I’d like to see him incorporate his wrestling more as we’ve seen him utilize it on the regional scene to great effect. 

Katona is going to need to rely on his durability and motor once more to get the win in this one. While Armfield is powerful, Brad should have the speed advantage and will certainly have the faster feet. He’ll need to use this speed difference to his advantage and pull Armfeild in; make him advance and be the one throwing on the front foot where Katona can counter. Armfield has only gone past the second round twice and looks to slow down in the second so if Katona can take him deep into the fight, he’ll likely start to pull away as he normally does.

For Armfied, he should have plenty of opportunities to land his power punches early on the blitzing Katona. He’ll need to use his feints and stay patient to draw Katona in and time his entries with that powerful jab. He’ll have a six-inch reach advantage over Brad, so his distance management with the straight shots will be imperative to his success.


Katona has looked good since his first departure from the UFC and his win over Cody Gibson was impressive, but it highlighted the defensive holes in his game. Gibson was a longer fighter and the length gave Katona a lot of trouble on the feet as he struggled to find clean entries to land his offense. Armfield has similar length to Gibson but brings better timing and power and, with Katona’s lack of power, he’ll likely struggle to earn the respect of Armfield in these exchanges.

As long as Armfield isn’t baited into a lot of swings and misses in the first round, he holds the advantage in a lot of areas. Katona doesn’t always judge his distances well and gets caught at the end of long punches and when he does bring his guard up, he still leaves openings, especially on his left side. If the fight goes the distance, it favors Katona but I don’t see the judges getting involved here.

Prediction: Garrett Armfield to win (+155) – bet now at MyBookie

Best Bet: Garrett Armfield to win by knockout (+500) – bet now at MyBookie

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