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Saturday June 15th

UFC 300 preview and predictions

<p><em>The UFC 300 card is loaded with talent (Photo courtesy of Andreas Arcabic / </em><a href="" target="_blank"><em>Flickr</em></a><em>).</em></p>

The UFC 300 card is loaded with talent (Photo courtesy of Andreas Arcabic / Flickr).

By Joey Bachich
Staff Writer

On the day of Nov. 12, 1993, legend Royce Gracie defeated Gerard Gordeau in the first ever Ultimate Fighting Championship event in Denver called UFC 1. Since then, we have seen legends be born, movies be made and a few superstars come to fame like Conor McGregor. More recently Sean O’Malley and Israel Adesanya, stamp their legacies as some of the world’s greatest mixed martial artists. 30 years later, UFC is putting on UFC 300 and it looks to be the most stacked card of all time. The competitors consist of 12 current and former champions with two belts and one BMF belt up for grabs. April 13, 2024 might go down as one of the greatest nights in MMA history and could alter the future of the sport entirely. 

Early Preliminary Card 
No. 8 Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Cody Garbrandt 
Winner - Cody Garbrandt 
Method - KO, first round 

There is nothing like an underdog winning to start off the card. Figueiredo has his second fight in the bantamweight division of the UFC and Garbrandt is looking for his third win in a row, climbing the ladder back to the championship. Figueiredo is a sniper on the feet, but Garbrandt throws caution to the wind and tends to go for the knockout. The speed advantage is heavy in Garbrandt’s favor. One thing is for certain, this fight will not last long. 

No. 14 Bobby Green vs. Jim Miller
Winner - Jim Miller 
Method - Decision 

This is a battle of the old guard, with the fighters coming in with a combined age of 77. While Green has a creative style of fighting (self proclaimed hood style), Miller is going to close the distance and grapple with Green early. In his last fight, Green was viciously knocked out and the fight was controversially not stopped. Only being four months removed from that fight, Green might not have the same chin as he used to. Green will get wobbled in the fight and Miller will control all the ground time. 

No. 5 Jéssica Andrade vs. No. 6 Marina Rodriguez 
Winner - Jéssica Andrade 
Method - Decision 

This fight will have some pace on it as Andrade is one of the most vicious women fighters on the roster and Rodriguez being one of the more creative. The speed that Andrade has moving side to side will give her a win against Rodriguez in an even fight. 

No. 10 Jalin Turner v. No. 13 Renato Moicano 
Winner - Renato Moicano 
Method - Submission, second round

Turner is absolutely wicked on the feet, putting out Green in his last fight in devastating fashion. He had a close loss to highly ranked Dan Hooker in a fight with all the fireworks. Moicano throws a different type of fight to Turner. The long and spider-like tendencies of Moicano makes him a scary underdog pick against Turner. Moicano has submitted three of his last five opponents while Turner has not faced anyone with the submission game of Moicano. Moicano will survive the first round and find the back of Turner and end the fight with a rear naked choke. 

Preliminary Card
No. 13 Sodiq Yusuff vs. Diego Lopes 
Winner - Diego Lopes
Method - Decision

Lopes is an absolute warrior, taking on the undefeated Movsar Evloev and narrowly losing a decision on short notice in his debut. That toughness will have to show against Yusuff, who at times can have great showings. The pace that Lopes will push will be too much for Yusuff to handle on and off the feet. Expect Lopes to have a clear victory from first bell to last. 

No. 5 Holly Holm vs. Kayla Harrison 
Winner - Kayla Harrison 
Method - TKO, round 3

Harrison is making her UFC debut against the No. 5 women’s bantamweight and she is a massive favorite. Harrison comes from the Professional Fighters League and is 16-1 in her career. Her striking is a little wild, so the puncher's chance of the 40-year-old Holm is there, but Harrison should dominate in all aspects and insert herself into the top five. 

No. 8 Calvin Kattar vs. Aljamain Sterling 
Winner - Aljamain Sterling
Method - Decision

The self proclaimed “Funk Master” is back and in a new weight class after his loss to “Suga” Sean O’Malley. One of the best bantamweights ever has made the move to featherweight and draws a wild fight with Kattar. Kattar is powerful and direct on the feet while having some decent takedown defense. While the first round should be even, Sterling, with a few months notice and a full healthy camp, should be able to grapple with Kattar and work submission. While he might not get a finish, Sterling will take control of the fight, win, and make a run at the featherweight title.

No. 2 Jiří Procházka vs. No. 5 Aleksandar Rakić
Winner - Aleksandar Rakić
Method - TKO, round 3

This fight will be based on one thing: Rakic’s leg kicks. If Rakic can stop the movement of Prochazka, it will be a long night for the former champion. Both fighters are very good on their feet, but Prochazka is not good at defending the leg kicks. In his last fight, Prochazka lost to now champ Alex Pereira due to the numbing leg kicks and it was a main reason why he lost that fight. By the end of the fight, Prochazka might not be able to stand on his front leg. 

Main Card 
Bo Nickal vs. Cody Brundage 
Winner - Bo Nickal 
Method - KO, round 1

Nickal is a former three-time NCAA wrestling national champion and has put his hat in the ring in an attempt to become UFC champion. This is hopefully the last of the lower ranked opponents that the UFC gives Nickal, who will most likely win in dominating fashion. 

No. 1 Charles Oliveira vs. No. 4 Arman Tsarukyan
Winner - Charles Oliveira
Method - KO, round 3

Oliveira is back in action after winning 11 of his last 12 fights and looking to get his belt back from champion Islam Makhachev. The UFC leader in submissions has more than one way to end a fight early. Tsarukyan is the up and comer with some wicked stand-up, knocking out his last two opponents. While Tsarukyan will have some moments of success, Oliveira is ultra focused and will catch Tsarukyan in an exchange and win yet another fight. 

BMF Title
No. 2 Justin Gaethje vs. Max Holloway
Winner - Justin Gaethje 
Method - KO, round 3

This might be the closest fight of the night, and picking this matchup is nearly impossible. Holloway is jumping up a weight class and meeting one of the baddest men in the lightweight division. Holloway is a technician, has an iron chin, is one of the toughest contenders in the UFC and has beat so many up and comers. Gaethje is one of the most violent fighters in the UFC, but he is only getting better. After losing two title fights, Gaethje has hit the reset button and has become more controlled, yet even more effective. Holloway has never been knocked down, but moving up a weight class, that might be coming to an end facing Gaethje. Holloway could also catch Gaethje in a wild exchange and put his lights out. From the first bump of the gloves, do not blink. 

Women's Strawweight Title
Champion Zhang Weili vs. No. 1 Yan Xiaonan 
Winner - Zhang Weili
Method - TKO, round 4 

These are the two most exciting women in the UFC. This should be a great championship fight. Weili should control most of the fight on the feet with Xiaonan throwing a ton of combinations. The power of Weili will prevail and win in the fourth round with hopefully another highlight knockout added to her long list of highlights. 

Light Heavyweight Title  
Champion Alex Pereira vs. No. 1 Jamahal Hill
Winner - Alex Pereira
Method - TKO, round 3

The main event is one of the best fights in lightweight history and is headlining UFC 300. Pereira is a growing star after his fights and wins against Israel Adesanya, Sean Strickland and Jiří Procházka. Pereira has the best check left hook in the world, winning most of his fights with the feared bombing left hand and his leg kicks that are not telegraphed. Jamahal “Sweet Dreams” Hill is a very consistent striker that is amazing with dirty boxing on the inside. More of a pure boxer, Hill has fierce and fast hands. The classic kickboxing versus boxing matchup always produces fireworks. Hill is coming off a long rehabbing of his achilles and has not fought in over a year. He tore his achilles nine months ago and with the leg kicks of Pereira, that leg might be compromised early. This could stop the movement of Hill and open up the left hook for Pereira. Hill is a combo king, so if Pereira can dodge the fury of Hill, he could knock him out earlier than anticipated.


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