UFC 300: Breaking down every single fight at the biggest event of the year

On Saturday, the UFC will stage its biggest event in recent years – and one of the most historic since the MMA promotion’s inception in 1993.

Those tags, and UFC president Dana White’s bold promises for what UFC 300 would entail, naturally raised expectations to an unprecedented level. Arguably, expectations were never going to be met unless the event brought the return of Conor McGregor, which is instead due later this year.

Fans, for some time, were critical of the UFC 300 card, but that frustration can likely be traced back to White over-promising – particularly on the main event, before it was even booked, and the resultant headline bout: Alex Pereira vs Jamahal Hill.

Still, Pereira vs Hill is a great fight, if not the most glamorous tilt, and it caps off a card of stunning depth; the first prelim of the night pits one former champion against another, and the quality does not let up.

So, let’s dive into UFC 300, which will go down at Las Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena on Saturday. In fact, let’s dive into every single fight.

Main card

Alex Pereira vs Jamahal Hill

The main event. Pereira defends the light-heavyweight title against his predecessor, who vacated the belt last year due to injury. For Brazilian Pereira, who previously held the middleweight belt, this is a first defence at 205lbs, while Hill’s injury prevented him from ever defending the gold after he won it against Pereira’s compatriot and teammate Glover Teixeira. Pereira is a kickboxing extraordinaire, and his American opponent will want to strike, too. Pereira should have the edge there, technically and – undoubtedly – when it comes to power.

Zhang Weili vs Yan Xiaonan

The first ever all-Chinese UFC title fight. Aside from a brutal knockout by Rose Namajunas, and a narrow points loss in their rematch, Zhang has been ferocious in the strawweight division. Xiaonan does not quite have the same pedigree as the champion, and she does certainly not have the same power; the challenger’s form for knockouts before reaching the UFC has been missing since she joined the promotion. A further worry for Xiaonan, though, is that Zhang does not need to rely on power. The champion’s game is well rounded enough to give her a clear edge.

Justin Gaethje vs Max Holloway

Justin Gaethje (left) will defend the ‘BMF’ title against Max Holloway (Getty Images)
Justin Gaethje (left) will defend the ‘BMF’ title against Max Holloway (Getty Images)

Most fans’ pick for fight of the night, challenged somewhat by the bout below. Holloway’s featherweight run, even since he lost the title, has been iconic, but his previous lightweight venture in 2019 was ill fated. On that occasion, the Hawaiian’s striking volume and precision earned him many moments of success against Dustin Poirier, but the latter – the natural lightweight – dealt greater damage on account of his power. Many fans fear the same fate for Holloway here, as he faces a destructive 155lbs puncher. Gaethje, a former interim champ like Poirier, is the favourite, but expect fireworks no matter what. Gaethje’s ‘Baddest Motherf***er’ title is up for grabs in this one.

Charles Oliveira vs Arman Tsarukyan

A classic kind of match-up: old guard vs new blood. Oliveira is a former champion at lightweight and has the most finishes and submissions in UFC history, and he meets Tsarukyan at a critical point in each man’s career. Oliveira aims to prove he is not past his peak, and the dynamic Tsarukyan looks to show he has not yet reached his. Oliveira’s gameplan will surely be his usual: apply unrelenting pressure to disrupt his opponent, and seal the finish – whether it’s a KO or submission. That may land him in trouble on this occasion... Check out our exclusive interview with Oliveira here.

Bo Nickal vs Cody Brundage

Wrestling specialist and fast learner Nickal has been pegged as a future champion at middleweight, which explains the controversial decision to place him on the main card in place of many past champions. The UFC clearly intends for this to be a showcase for the young, unbeaten American, and it will be a shock if it is anything but that.


Jiri Prochazka (top) winning the light-heavyweight title from Glover Teixeira in 2022 (Getty Images)
Jiri Prochazka (top) winning the light-heavyweight title from Glover Teixeira in 2022 (Getty Images)

Jiri Prochazka vs Aleksandar Rakic

Prochazka’s significant momentum carried him to the light-heavyweight title but has since stalled; forced to vacate the belt due to injury, the Czech failed to regain it against Pereira last year, losing by a controversial TKO. And there is genuine danger of the creative striker stalling further here, as he faces a well-rounded contender in Rakic. However, Rakic may have to battle ring rust, having not fought in two years due to his own injury.

Calvin Kattar vs Aljamain Sterling

Former bantamweight champ Sterling, who lost his belt via knockout in August, makes his featherweight debut. And the grappler does so against a seasoned striker in Kattar, marking a real test for Aljo. This one will be about who can impose their gameplan, more so than in most fights, and whether Sterling can deal with the power of a natural featherweight.

Holly Holm vs Kayla Harrison

Holm’s record has been far from inspiring since the former boxer won the women’s bantamweight belt from Ronda Rousey with that stunning head kick in 2015. But is Harrison, an Olympic legend in Judo, at the UFC level? We will find out on her promotional debut, as the former PFL champion makes a long-awaited switch. If Holm can keep the fight at distance, she has a great chance; if Harrison can get ahold of her, the same applies. The latter feels likelier, but another factor will be whether Harrison, a longtime lightweight, can make bantamweight comfortably here.

Kayla Harrison (left) is a former PFL champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist (Ryan Loco)
Kayla Harrison (left) is a former PFL champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist (Ryan Loco)

Sodiq Yusuff vs Diego Lopes

A really fun featherweight match-up. Lopes is en vogue at the moment, and Yusuff is an appropriate test to see if the Brazilian can enter the rankings. Lopes’s momentum may well win out here.

Early prelims

Jalin Turner vs Renato Moicano

“Money” Moicano is many fans’ newest favourite fighter, even at 34 – and with just one win in the last 18 months. The Brazilian bolstered his following with a wild post-fight interview after beating Drew Dober in a war two months ago, as he finally built on a win from late 2022. This match-up with Turner, who is also well rounded but less consistent than Moicano, could be a sneaky pick for fight of the night.

Jessica Andrade vs Marina Rodriguez

An ex-champion in Andrade versus a stalling contender in Rodriguez, this is an all-Brazilian bout at strawweight. Yet Andrade’s status as a former champ is deceiving, in a sense; she is looking for a second straight win after bouncing back from a three-fight skid in 2023. Even so, Andrade should have enough here.

Jessica Andrade is a former strawweight champion (Getty)
Jessica Andrade is a former strawweight champion (Getty)

Bobby Green vs Jim Miller

Green, a showboater and fine boxer, is never in a dull fight, and Miller is a true legend who is enjoying a renaissance in the ring. This is a great lightweight bout to get fans going, if the fight below doesn’t.

Deiveson Figueiredo vs Cody Garbrandt

American Garbrandt was a divisive fighter for some time, but his brutal fall from the top of the bantamweight division evoked sympathy in fans. The fear for the American, one of the fastest boxers in the UFC but fragile defensively, is that his chin won’t hold up to the power in Figueiredo’s fists. The Brazilian, a former two-time flyweight champ, made his 135lbs debut in 2023, but this could be his coming-out party. Check out our fight preview here.