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UFC 300 - Pereira vs Hill - Apr 13 🇺🇸


wandshogun09

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Posted (edited)

It’s almost time…

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PPV MAIN CARD
Alex Pereira©️vs Jamahal Hill - Light Heavyweight Title

Zhang Weili©️vs Yan Xiaonan - Strawweight Title

Justin Gaethje©️vs Max Holloway - BMF Title

Charles Oliveira vs Arman Tsarukyan 

Bo Nickal vs Cody Brundage 

ESPN PRELIMS
Jiri Prochazka vs Aleksandar Rakic 

Calvin Kattar vs Aljamain Sterling

Holly Holm vs Kayla Harrison 

Sodiq Yusuff vs Diego Lopes

ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS 
Jalin Turner vs Renato Moicano 

Jessica Andrade vs Marina Rodriguez 

Bobby Green vs Jim Miller 

Deiveson Figueiredo vs Cody Garbrandt 

 

 

Alright, let’s get it out of the way. Yeah the poster is arse. Don’t know what they were thinking with that. Whatever. This is a stupidly stacked card. There’s been a load of whinging but anyone complaining and saying this is shite is talking complete bollocks. The main event wouldn’t have been my first choice, it wasn’t the UFC’s either, but the card as a whole is stacked to fuck. Every single fight on there except Bo vs Brundage could easily headline its own card, either on PPV or a Fight Night. Honestly think some fans were expecting Godzilla vs King Kong to headline. Those types were never gonna be satisfied. This is gonna be tremendous though. 


 

 

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Alex Pereira vs Jamahal Hill is your 300 headliner. After weeks and months of crazy speculation and the UFC delaying the announcement because they were out of ideas, this is what they ultimately came up with. Certainly not a bad fight and if they’d just announced it from the off, it still likely would’ve received some criticism but probably not nearly as much. The delays just fed the speculation and silly rumours from fans. Everything from McGregor to Khabib to Rousey to Lesnar were rumoured at one point or another. None of them were realistic except a McGregor fight but that’s a discussion for another thread. Pereira vs Hill it is.

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Alex Pereira became Light Heavyweight champion back in November, stopping Jiri Prochazka in the UFC 295 main event at Madison Square Garden. Quite a career he’s having. Two-weight champ in GLORY Kickboxing and now, just 11 fights into his MMA career, he’s a two-weight UFC champ as well. OK, there were unique circumstances and he was fast-tracked into contention in both the 185 and 205 divisions. But whatever. He still had to win those fights and to notch wins over Strickland, Adesanya, Blachowicz and Prochazka in a 2 year span is nothing to be sniffed at. I was a little bit surprised they chucked Pereira on this card, to be honest. With UFC 301 being in Brazil just 3 weeks later, you’ve got to think Pereira was the guy they had in mind to main event that one originally. I still think Du Plessis vs Adesanya was the planned UFC 300 main event but whatever the delay is there, they decided to pivot to this for 300 and Pereira’s no longer an option for the Brazil PPV. Shame. That card certainly needed Pereira more than this one does but they wanted to load this one up and here we are. The fight itself definitely makes sense. This was the fight to make in the 205 division. The current champion against the former champion who never actually lost the belt in the cage. It needs settling.

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State of it.

Jamahal Hill won the vacant title back in January 2023, beating Pereira’s close friend and mentor Glover Teixeira, in Brazil of all places, in what turned out to be Glover’s farewell to MMA. It was on the cards for a while. Glover was 43 years old, had been through some rough fights and had already reached the pinnacle of the sport and surpassed most people's expectations by becoming UFC champion in 2021. The belt became a hot potato not long after that and, frankly, the title picture degenerated into a bit of a shambles. For about 18 months or so, I think the title was vacant as much as it was actually on someone! The one bright spot for the division in that period was Glover’s feel-good title win and the epic war with Jiri Prochazka where Jiri won the strap. But Jiri getting injured and being forced to relinquish the gold fucked things up, then the Blachowicz vs Ankalaev fight that was supposed to crown a new champ going to a draw just muddied things further. When Jamahal beat Glover, as shite as it was to see Glover go out on a loss, there was at least a feeling of ‘well at least we actually have a champ again now’. That didn’t last long though…

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Can’t make it up can you? Once again, the Light Heavyweight title had no owner. In the meantime, Alex Pereira moved up from Middleweight and beat Jan Blachowicz on points at UFC 291 in July. Then Jiri Prochazka announced he was finally healthy and ready to return. So yet another vacant title fight was set for MSG. And that’s where it happened. Pereira knocked out Jiri and that was that. 

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Finally, the 205 division has a champ. Like with any new champ, the talk quickly started about who his first title defence would be against. It would all come down to whether Hill would be healed up or not. If he wasn’t ready to go, it almost definitely would’ve been Magomed Ankalaev getting the shot at Pereira. But with Hill back, like I said, this is the right fight to make next. Although it seems a bit quick for Hill to be fully healthy. He sounds confident at least…

“Everybody got this perception of Alex. He’s not like you all think he is, I’m like that. I see myself as superior everywhere. Superior striker, grappler, clinch worker, thinker. I’m superior to him everywhere. I’m truly just better than Alex is. It’s not gonna go well for him. Build him up in your heads as big as you want to. He gets his ass whooped, every single way. I’m knocking him the fuck out. Anybody who thinks he’s gonna outclass me is out of their fucking mind.” - Jamahal Hill

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If looks could kill. That was literally right after Hill beat Glover. I don’t think Pereira liked it. The seeds were planted in that moment for these two to collide somewhere down the road. And with Glover retiring, it opened up 205 as an option for Pereira. I don’t think he’d have ever gone for Light Heavyweight gold if Glover was still active, no way those two would’ve fought each other. But with Glover out the way, it left the door open for Pereira to move up. Not quite sure how it goes. Given that they’re both strikers and Pereira’s the more decorated striker, you kind of have to favour him. Especially given Hill’s layoff. But I don’t know. As lethal as Pereira is offensively, he has those moments of vulnerability defensively and I find myself always half expecting him to get clipped. I hope he absolutely obliterates Hill though. Anyone who’s seen him on Twitter will know how insufferable he is on there. Always crying about something and jumping on anything even slightly resembling criticism. If you’re not kissing his arse, he’s offended. Proper div. Plus, I like the idea of Pereira avenging Glover’s losses. The last two men to beat Glover were Jiri Prochazka and Jamahal Hill. Pereira’s already got one back for Glover. One down, one to go.

 

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Zhang Weili vs Yan Xiaonan is co-main. Saw a load of whinging and negativity and eye rolling when this was announced and, yeah, it doesn’t scream ‘biggest card of the year’ but it’s a perfectly fine fight and should be exciting to watch for however long it goes. Zhang’s never in dull fights. I’m never gonna complain about seeing her name on a card. She’s ace. It’s a pretty cool fight as well. First time in UFC history that two Chinese fighters are squaring off for the gold.

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Zhang Weili will always be the first though. China’s first ever UFC champion. She’s 24-3 with 19 inside the distance. She’ll always be remembered for that all timer of a 5 round war with Joanna Jedrzejczyk in 2020. The greatest womens fight in MMA history and it’s on the shortlist for me of my favourite MMA fights ever full-stop. If not for the couple of losses to Rose Namajunas, Zhang would be on a massive win streak right now. She’s coming into this fight off a successful title defence against Amanda Lemos at UFC 292 in August. Lemos somehow lasted the whole 5 rounds but it was a one sided mugging. Zhang battered her. Before that she’d completely outclassed and submitted Carla Esparza. Before that she knocked out Joanna Jedrzejczyk with a brutal spinning backfist in their rematch. Beast.

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Never really been blown away by Yan Xiaonan but she’s a decent enough fighter and she’s certainly deserving of the title shot. She’s got a stronger case than anyone else in the division currently. I remember thinking she should’ve got the shot against Zhang last time but Lemos got it instead. She’s 17-3-0-1 with 8 finishes. She bagged wins over Angela Hill, Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Claudia Gadelha on the way up but had a couple of setbacks along the way. Her last two fights have solidified her case though. She beat Mackenzie Dern in their 5 round main event in October 2022. Then in May last year she was matched up with Jessica Andrade. I recall expecting Andrade to win that one and I thought if Yan was gonna win, she’d probably have to do it in fairly dull fashion. Well, I was wrong.

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She knocked Andrade out in 2 minutes. She slugged with the slugger and came out on top. Easily the standout moment and performance of her career so far and absolutely the deciding factor in her getting this title shot. A finish like that goes a long way when it comes to these opportunities and it set up this China vs China clash beautifully. I expect Zhang to win. No doubt Yan will be mega motivated. This’ll very likely be her only crack at UFC gold. Her one bite of the cherry. And having been in Zhang’s shadow for years as far as Chinese MMA goes, this is her big chance to put herself in the history books. I think Zhang’s just that bit better than her everywhere. Make the most of Zhang while she’s still around. She turns 35 this year, not old but for a Strawweight, she’s getting up there around the age the lighter weight fighters typically start to taper off. I always forget and think she’s younger than she is but it’s not gonna last forever. I’m hoping she wins this fight decisively. If she does, I wouldn’t be against a ‘Superfight’ next. I know I always say there’s too much division hopping and “hot-shotting” the cross-divisional fights these days but I’m certainly not gonna complain if we get something like Zhang vs Grasso or Shevchenko later in the year.

 

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Justin Gaethje vs Max Holloway is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** this time. Could’ve been almost any fight on the card but this one really stands out to me. I don’t wanna jinx it but it really does have all the ingredients of a FOTY contender. And it’s almost upon us! The whole BMF belt thing I can really do without. Does nothing for me and this fight doesn’t need a cringey gimmick. But it means this gets 5 rounds and I’m all over that. This fight has been criminally overlooked and not discussed enough for my liking. It’s fucking Gaethje vs Holloway!! I think it’s kind of got lost in the shuffle since it’s been announced because of the recent madness of Topuria dethroning Volk, AJ icing Ngannou, the stacked 299 card and all the other rumours and fights announced for 300. There’s been a lot going on but, still, this is a dream fight that I never really thought we’d see. And it’s happening while they’re both still in good form. I actually saw some moaning even about this fight on social media. You believe that shit? It’s two of THE most consistently exciting fighters in the game locked in a cage for 25 minutes and it’s gonna be incredible!

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Gaethje won the BMF bollox belt at UFC 291 in July, knocking out Dustin Poirier with a vicious headkick in the second round. It was the typical banger we’ve been conditioned to expect from those two. It didn’t match their epic first fight in 2018 but not many fights ever will, that still might just be my favourite fight in Lightweight history. It was a hell of a scrap though and Gaethje avenging that loss in the first fight must’ve made it extra satisfying. Tied at 1-1 and with both fights being belters, they’ve gotta do a trilogy decider before it’s all said and done. But for now, it’s this guy standing across the cage.

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Mad Max at 155 again and he’s been bulking up a little bit from a few pics I’ve seen floating about. Not sure how that’s gonna go for him really. I can’t see him gaining too much in terms of power and there is a chance it could hinder his speed a bit. Although maybe he’ll be a bit more durable with not having to cut so much weight. Not that his durability has ever been in question. He’s notoriously tough. He’s had 28 fights in the UFC and not only has he never been knocked out, he’s never even been knocked down! And when you look back over his record and the names he’s fought, that’s an insane stat. He’s fought Volk three times, Poirier twice, McGregor, Aldo twice, Zombie, Yair, Ortega, Edgar, Pettis, Allen, Kattar, Oliveira, Swanson, Stephens…I mean, fuck me. He’s spent hours in the Octagon with this lot and never been put down. But going up in weight against an animal like Gaethje, your chin’s gonna be put to the test regardless. Max is coming off a KO win over the Korean Zombie in August. A rare one punch finish for Holloway and it sent the Zombie into retirement.

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Absolutely buzzing for this. I was actually a little bit surprised when this fight got made. I’d read rumours it might be a possibility but I don’t think I ever fully believed it. There’d been talk of Gaethje challenging Islam Makhachev for the Lightweight belt and Max was in the running to maybe get a title shot against Topuria at 145. But Islam’s still on the shelf and it’s looking like Topuria’s gonna rematch Volk. So here we are. I’m not mad at it. At all. It’s funny but I’ve read all sorts of talk like this is a terrible idea for Max and he’s gonna get killed and stuff. But it wasn’t long ago everyone was writing Gaethje off before he bashed Fiziev’s face in and kicked Poirier in the head. I think too many people are reading into Max’s last fight at 155 where he lost to Poirier and thinking that means he’s got no hope. But losing to Poirier in a FOTY contender doesn’t mean you can’t beat other 155ers. No doubt Gaethje’s gonna be an uphill battle. He always is. But I’m not looking at Max as a lamb to the slaughter here like many seem to be. And let’s face it, if Max isn’t getting the title shot vs Topuria, what else is there for him to do at 145 that’s better than this? He’s fought and beat almost everyone bar Volk and Topuria anyway. If he was ever gonna take a mad bastard fight at 155, now seems as good a time as any. It’s gonna be fucking class!

 

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Charles Oliveira vs Arman Tsarukyan is a proper fascinating matchup. Shame it’s not a 5 rounder really but there’s already 3 of them on this card, any more than that would be overkill. I love this fight though and, unless something has changed, it’s a title eliminator. When this fight was announced, Dana made a point of saying the winner would challenge Islam Makhachev for the title when he returns. So not only a mega intriguing clash of styles, it’s also got high stakes attached. Oliveira’s ranked #1 at Lightweight, Tsarukyan’s ranked #4. And both have history with the champ.

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Oliveira got submitted by Makhachev in their title fight back in October 2022 but rebounded by absolutely steamrolling Beneil Dariush in a round at UFC 289 in June. He really couldn’t have bounced back any better than that. I remember thinking Dariush might be an awkward and potentially tricky fight for him coming off the loss to Makhachev but he dealt with him so impressively I felt stupid for doubting him. A real statement and one of his better performances in my opinion. People will understandably rate his wins over Gaethje, Poirier and Chandler highly and they were great. But he also took some punishment in those fights and had to scrape himself up off the canvas and come back to win. Against Dariush there wasn’t any of that. He never let him get a look in. Just smashed him up and, for once, he came out relatively unscathed. He was all set to rematch Makhachev at UFC 294 in October but was forced to withdraw due to a nasty cut on his eyebrow. Unfortunate but I kind of felt like it was a bit too soon for Islam vs Charles 2 anyway, to be fair.

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Tsarukyan also crushed Dariush in a round in his last fight. Poor Dariush, he’s getting twatted from all angles. Tsarukyan squashed him in about a minute on the Fight Night in Texas back in December. He’s 21-3 with 14 finishes and has been threatening to break into the title mix for a while now. His climb has been a bit slow and frustrating but that Dariush win seems to have been his breakthrough moment. And being matched up with Oliveira now on a card like this, he couldn’t really ask for a bigger opportunity. He actually made his UFC debut against Makhachev back in 2019 when he was just 22 years old! I’ve brought that fight up a fair bit on here in the past and even rewatched and reviewed it in one of the threads. It was a cracking fight. If you ever want an example of a great fight that’s predominantly wrestling and grappling, Makhachev vs Tsarukyan is it. Makhachev got the decision but I remember being really impressed with Tsarukyan and, at 22 years old, you could tell he had a bright future and was gonna be worth keeping an eye on. Now here we are 5 years later and he’s one win away from a title shot against the same man he made his UFC debut against! He’s leaving no stone unturned either…

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Charles is fucked. Nah, nice to see Fedor still putting work in and helping the next generation. This is such a cool fight. And it only being 3 rounds actually kind of makes it more interesting in a way. I’m leaning towards Oliveira winning but it could be a really tough one. I feel like Tsarukyan’s not gonna be easy to submit but we’ve seen him rocked before and one thing we know about Oliveira is once he gets you hurt you’re probably done. Tsarukyan’s style could cause problems for Charles though. In a way this is a great fight for Charles to prep him for the Makhachev rematch because you know Tsarukyan is gonna be looking to grapple and put a pace on him. I’m a bit torn on this really because I’d be more into seeing Makhachev vs Tsarukyan 2 than Makhachev vs Oliveira 2 next. Just from a styles perspective I think it’s the more interesting fight. But…I just can’t root against Oliveira! Like I said, I think Oliveira wins but I’m not that confident about it.

 

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Bo Nickal vs Cody Brundage opens up the PPV. To be honest, the least interesting fight on the entire card. I get why it’s here but it just feels like a shameless squash match so it looks out of place on the main card. Especially considering how many better fights are on the prelims. But the UFC machine is all in on Bo and he’s getting the rocket strapped to him. His amateur wrestling background speaks for itself. He’s 5-0, all finishes, in his young MMA career. It’s early days but he’s looked the business so far. It’s all been low level but I don’t have a problem with that. No need to rush him. He’s been talking some shit though. He’s barely been in the door 5 minutes and he’s already been ruffling feathers and talking about fighting the likes of Adesanya, Pereira, Chimaev etc. Big talk when your best wins are Jamie Pickett and Val Woodburn 🤣 he might well turn out to be everything he’s being hyped up to be but it remains to be proven. We’ll see how he does as he goes through the levels. Doubt we get any answers here though because Brundage is dogshit. Says it all that he’s coming off a win via powerbomb KO and I still have no time for him. My main memory of him is that he constantly goes for failed guillotines. It’s like he’s watched and studied Poirier fights and all he’s learned and taken from it is the bad guillotine attempts, but ignored all the good things Poirier does. Brundage sticks out like a sore thumb on this card. It’s the equivalent of putting a jobber in a featured match on WrestleMania. But we know why it’s here. Imagine being Cody Brundage and knowing that the only reason you’re on UFC 300 is because the matchmakers see you as the absolute easiest opponent for their boy to style on?

 

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Jiri Prochazka vs Aleksandar Rakic is a solid fight. This is Jiri’s attempt to try and bounce back from the Alex Pereira loss in November. Always worth tuning in for his fights. He’s got that his unorthodox and weird style but he’s the type of fighter who seems to be able to drag something watchable out of pretty much any matchup, whoever he’s in there with. What makes this one intriguing is the return of Rakic. He’ll have been out of action just short of 2 years by the time he steps into the Octagon here. We last saw him in May 2022, in an Apex main event against Jan Blachowicz. Early in the third round, Rakic blew his knee out and that was that. Blachowicz officially got the win via TKO and Rakic was taken out of the game with a torn ACL. Rakic was originally set to return in January at UFC 297, and it was gonna be a rematch with Blachowicz but Blachowicz pulled out and had to have shoulder surgery. Now he’s facing Jiri who’s had his own battles with injuries. Hopefully they both make it to the cage here. Not sure how Rakic is gonna look. He’s still only 32 and has a 14-3 record with wins over Thiago Santos, Anthony Smith and one of the most brutal headkick knockouts you’ll ever see against Jimi Manuwa. But he’s had a few lacklustre performances and, despite having potential, never seemed to fully get into his groove even prior to the injury. And coming straight back and diving in the deep end with Jiri is a big ask. I like it though. Should give us an idea where Rakic stands and, like I said, Jiri should make it entertaining and maybe force a different look out of Rakic.

 

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Calvin Kattar vs Aljamain Sterling is another quality fight. Again, would’ve been cool to see this over 5 rounds but it just shows the depth of this card. This is the long talked about Featherweight debut for Aljo. It’s been a long time coming and he’s been quite vocal about the cut to Bantamweight being rough on him for a while. Understandably, he wasn’t gonna move up while he was champion at 135. But after losing the title to Sean O’Malley back in August, and especially the way it went down with him getting knocked out, it was either try to get a rematch or finally make the jump to 145. I think he’s made the right call. At 34 years old, the cut to 135 was only gonna keep getting harder and I like the idea of him making a fresh start up at 145.

“I think it’s huge to come out and do something completely new on a historic card. This is what dreams are made of. Everyone wants to be on this card. I’m at a new weight class, my new home, and hopefully I can do it in a big way. Ten pounds is a big difference for me. It changes what I do. So I’m just excited to go out there and try something new and see what I can do in a brand new weight class. I’m not necessarily trying to put on size. I’ve already got the size in comparison to all these featherweights. I didn’t realise I was relatively the same size as all these other featherweights. Imagine me making 135 so many times? I always knew I was getting tired for a reason. My body’s just not meant to be at 135lbs.”

“I think it’s going to be a tough fight. I’m excited because Calvin is a badass. And I’m also excited because I get to see what I can do in this new weight class. I’m not going to be the biggest guy but I know I can be just as strong. And I know I’m going to have the gas tank to push, and I think that’s going to be my weapon.” - Aljamain Sterling

Looking forward to seeing how he looks at 145. Aljo said he was offered 4 names for this fight and he chose Kattar because he was the highest ranked of those 4 names. Fair play. He’s not looking to ease in gently at all so he must feel good about his chances at Featherweight. Kattar’s currently ranked #8 in the division so a win here would immediately catapult Aljo into the Top 10. Kattar’s looking to spoil the party though. He’s looking for a bit of redemption himself here. He’s gone 1-3 in his last 4 but it doesn’t really tell the whole story. The only decisive loss of the 3 was the beating he took off Max Holloway in 2021. The other 2 losses - one was a split decision against Josh Emmett that a lot of people had Kattar winning, the other was the loss to Arnold Allen which came about when Kattar suffered a knee injury. That was October 2022 and he’s been out of action and recovering since. Cool fight and I’m intrigued to see how Kattar looks coming off the layoff and how Aljo looks up in weight. I think Aljo’s gonna be looking to grapple here, that’s his strong suit, and that should make it interesting because we really haven’t seen Kattar’s ground game properly put to the test. And Kattar’s gonna be looking to do damage on the feet, especially with Aljo coming in off a KO loss. Good stuff.

 

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Holly Holm vs Kayla Harrison is happening. Really not sure what to expect out of this. I haven’t enjoyed watching Holm in fucking years now. She’s been absolutely bloody rotten to watch for ages. I’m still not over the fact the UFC actually re-signed her to another SIX FIGHT contract a year or so ago. Why? I guess those Apex cards need main events, right? She’ll turn 43 later this year and it seems like she’s never gonna retire. She’ll be having snoozers in the Apex long after we’re all dead and gone. She’s been living off the fumes of that Ronda Rousey KO from over a decade ago for long enough. Still, this is one Holm fight I’m gonna have to watch. Although, typically, that’s got nothing to do with Holm herself.

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The UFC debut of Kayla Harrison feels pretty big. On a history making card, Harrison’s Octagon debut will mark the first time someone has fought in the UFC who’s also won Olympic gold medals at 2 Olympic Games. She took gold in Judo in both the 2012 Olympics in London and the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Pretty cool. She made the transition to MMA in 2018 and has fought almost exclusively in PFL ever since. I’ll admit I’d reached the point where I didn’t think we’d ever see her in the UFC and I honestly wouldn’t have blamed her if she never made the jump. She seemed to have a nice little thing going over in PFL and was mostly beating outmatched competition. Felt like she could’ve done that comfortably for the rest of her career and kept winning the tournaments and cashing cheques. But she suffered her first defeat in late 2022, losing to Larissa Pacheco on points in the tournament final. She returned with a win over Aspen Ladd in November and entered free agency. Next thing you know, Dana’s announcing that he’s signed Harrison and she’ll be facing Holm at UFC 300!

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The news seemed to come out of the blue and PFL president Donn Davis has recently talked about being surprised and disappointed to lose Harrison. There’d been rumblings for ages of a potential Harrison vs Cyborg fight, which is probably the biggest fight you could make in womens MMA these days. But maybe it shouldn’t have been a shock she signed with the UFC. Harrison had appeared at a couple of UFC events and was specifically shown on camera. The UFC don’t usually do that unless they’re confident a deal is gonna be made. Where the surprise and intrigue lies here though, is the weight. This is a Bantamweight fight and, as you can see in the pic above, Harrison is a big girl.

“I mean, 135 will challenge me in ways, like I’m going to have to lose a piece of me to be able to fight at 135lbs. I think just structurally, I carry a lot of muscle. I’m already kind of lean, so I’m going to have to lose muscle. I’m going to have to change my entire lifestyle.” - Kayla Harrison

She’s never fought below 145lbs in MMA and has mostly fought at 155. Obviously there is no womens 155 division in the UFC and it seems they’ve finally abandoned womens 145 as well. So 135 it is. Although I don’t have a clue how Harrison is gonna do it and still compete. She won her Olympic gold medals as high as 172lbs. Knowing the work ethic you need to make it to Olympic gold medal level, I think she will actually make 135 by the time the weigh ins arrive. But at what cost? There’s no way she’s gonna cut all that weight and still be able to go at her optimal pace and strength. I’m kind of excited to see her in the UFC but I just get the feeling it’s gonna go tits up. Whether it’s in this fight or her next fight or what, I just don’t see it ending well. I’d love to be wrong because we all know the Bantamweight division needs all the help and depth it can get. And a healthy Harrison could be a real shot in the arm and the closest thing the division has to a star these days. But I think she’s just too big for 135. We’ll see. I hope she at least wins this fight because Holm getting back in the title mix is something nobody needs to be seeing in 2024.

 

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Sodiq Yusuff vs Diego Lopes is gonna get lost in the shuffle on a card as deep as this but I love this pairing. Only thing I don’t like is one of them has to lose. But if I have to choose a side, I’ve gotta root for Lopes. Genuinely think he might’ve been my favourite addition to the UFC roster last year. He’s been fantastic to watch. And to think, he only got in the UFC because Movsar Evloev needed an opponent on short notice. Lopes got the call and he didn’t disappoint. He lost on points but he dragged Evloev to the most entertaining fight of his career to date by far. He fought his arse off in defeat and gained a lot of fans right off the bat. In a sport like MMA where a big chunk of the fanbase are shameless glory hunters, for Lopes to get so many new fans from a loss says it all about how hard he fought. He’s rebounded nicely from that loss as well, finishing Gavin Tucker and Pat Sabatini, both in the first round. He’s got either FOTN or POTN in all 3 of his UFC appearances so far as well. Just one of those can’t miss fighters. Yusuff’s gonna be his toughest test since Evloev though. He’s 13-3 and coming off a points loss against Edson Barboza in their cracking 5 round main event in October. He was giving Barboza hell early on but faded a bit down the stretch. Yusuff’s a solid fighter but the 2 times he’s stepped up a level - against Barboza and Arnold Allen - he’s lost. So if Lopes can beat him here, maybe he’s on that level?

 

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Jalin Turner vs Renato Moicano completely passed me by. Had no idea this was even booked until now. Yet another fun fight on a card jam-packed with them. Turner is 14-7 but there might be a case to be made that his last couple of losses should’ve been wins. He dropped split decisions to both Mateusz Gamrot and Dan Hooker last year. I can’t remember exactly how I scored those fights but I’ve seen enough people saying they had Turner winning that there’s probably at least some kind of debate there. If those decisions had gone in his favour, he’d be 16-5 now instead of 14-7, and he’d be on an 8 fight winning streak. Regardless, he’s coming off a win here. He jumped in on short notice in December and stopped Bobby Green in brutal fashion in a round. Moicano’s coming off a decision win over Drew Dober in February but it was a bit of a disappointing fight given who was involved. I put that more on Dober though for having no answers for Moicano’s grappling. The highlight of that one was Moicano’s post-fight interview where he told us his 60-something year old Dad had just became a Dad again, then he called out half the division. Turner’s name was included in the callout and here we are. Should be good.

 

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Jessica Andrade vs Marina Rodriguez is one of the weaker fights on the card and even then it’s perfectly fine prelim fodder. Andrade always brings it, almost to a fault. She’s probably lost a couple of fights she should’ve won partly because of her own aggression. She’s been easily one of the most consistently entertaining female fighters to watch over the years though. Whether it was the one punch KO over Karolina Kowalkiewicz, that scary slam KO on Rose Namajunas that won her the title, the nasty body punch that folded Katlyn Chookagian, she’s always been fun to watch. She’s active as well. She fought 5 times in 2023 and it was a rough year. She lost 3 times in a row before finally snapping the losing streak at MSG in November by bettering Mackenzie Dern. Rodriguez is decent enough but I’ve cooled off on her big time over the last year or so. I think I actually predicted her to win UFC gold one year in that Champions predictions thread we’ve got on here. Turned out her ceiling was lower than I thought back then. She’s coming into this fight off a win over Michelle Waterson in September. It’s not gonna steal the show but I’m expecting an enjoyable scrap out of this.

 

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Bobby Green vs Jim Miller then. It’s gonna sound weird on a card as stacked as this but this is genuinely one of the fights I’m looking forward to most on this show. For one, if this feels like it should’ve happened before then that’s probably because these two have been booked to fight multiple times in the past. It’s crazy these guys have been in the game as long as they have yet they’ve never fought each other. But it’s not for lack of trying. This’ll be the FOURTH attempt to get this fight on. The first time they were meant to fight was UFC 172 in April 2014. So it’s a fight that’s literally a whole decade in the making! A couple more attempts were made in 2021/22 but fell through. All 3 pullouts were on Green’s side, so hopefully they wrap him in bubble wrap for the next few weeks. The main reason for my investment though…

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I love shit like this. Jim Miller making history! He beat Mac Danzig at UFC 100 and he beat Takanori Gomi at UFC 200. Now he’s set to fight at UFC 300. When it’s all said and done, he’ll always be the only fighter in UFC history to have fought at UFCs 100, 200 and 300. On top of that, Miller currently holds the records for most fights in UFC history, most wins in UFC history and most finishes in Lightweight history. He’s never won the big one but he’s been an absolute soldier over the years. I was in attendance for his Octagon debut and that was 2008! I feel ancient and he’s still here going strong all these years later. He’s gone 5-1 in his last 6 and all 5 wins were finishes. This’ll be his 56th pro fight and at one point he was saying the goal was purely to make it to UFC 300 and then retire. He’s since changed his mind though…

“Listen, at this point, 300 it’s important. I’ve been talking about it for a few years. When I originally brought it up, this was probably four years ago, I wasn’t certain where I would be today. I feel like I’m in a better place than I anticipated I would be. I was bringing it up to be like, ‘Hey, I was almost gonna retire at 200 so I might as well retire at 300.’ But that’s not the plans anymore. I’m not planning on hanging them up just yet.” - Jim Miller

Would’ve been cool to see him kind of come full circle and get to retire and leave his gloves on the canvas at UFC 300. But I can see why he wants to ride this wave he’s on at the moment. He’s arguably in the best form of his entire UFC run right now. He’s said a lot of the retirement talk was when he was really struggling with Lyme disease and he thought his fighting days were numbered. He’s in a better place with that now. At 40 years old, he’s not gonna have a ton more fights anyway but I can’t blame him for wanting to see how far he can ride this wave of momentum. In reality, he’s not gonna go much higher than he is now, which is why I’d have liked to have seen him call it a day here rather than carry on until the losses start piling up. But that’s a choice only he can make obviously. I’m glad we’re finally getting to see this fight though. Two real veterans of the lighter weight classes, over 100 pro fights between them etc. Would be a shame if this ended up being a fight that got away.

 

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Deiveson Figueiredo vs Cody Garbrandt is actually jerking the curtain here. Madness. This could easily headline any Fight Night and would almost definitely make the main card on most PPVs. Here it sits kicking off the Fight Pass stream. There’s actually history here as well. These two were briefly booked to square off at UFC 255 back in November 2020 but Cody pulled out with a torn bicep…

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This was back when Figgy was the Flyweight champion and for some reason Cody was getting an underserved title shot even though he’d never even made 125lbs, much less won a fight in the division. It was ridiculous. He was getting that title shot solely off the back of his KO win over Raphael Assuncao. Admittedly it was a peach of a knockout but it was one win, in a different weight class, and before that he’d lost 3 fights in a row and was stopped all 3 times! When he finally did make his Flyweight debut, he got chinned by Kai Kara-France and scurried off back to Bantamweight. He’s beat Trevin Jones and Brian Kelleher in his last 2 fights, first time Cody’s won back-to-back fights since 2016! Figgy finally moved up to 135 in December after struggling to make 125 for a while. He beat Rob Font on points in December and looked good doing it. I’m not sure how far he can go at 135 but I was all for the move. As fun as the Moreno fights were, there’s only so many times you can see the same fight. And 135 is an easier weight cut, with a bunch of fresh fights. As always whenever Cody’s coming off a win, people start getting silly and talking title shots and stuff. But Jones and Kelleher are low level wins. Cody packs a punch, as much as I dislike him I can’t deny that. But Figgy really should be winning this. I’m hoping Figgy flattens him then gets either Chito or Yan next.

 

And that’s 300. 

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Edited by wandshogun09
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Great post Wand. Not far away now at all. 

Kayla Harrison fighting at 135 worries me. I don't know how she makes that with any kind of steam to last a whole fight. I think she'll need to stop Holm in R1. I hate to do it, but I'm predicting Holm to win this. 

Hope to god Pereira chins Hill. Hill seems like a fella even his mum would struggle to put up with over dinner. I think he'll do it too - I expect this to play out on the feet and Alex to show his class there. 

Can't pick against Zhang. Sure her age is getting on now, but her performances sure aren't showing it. I don't think it'll be here that it's going to start being seen. 

Max and Justin has the potential to be an all timer. You'd be hard pushed to write a fight down on paper that could be better than that, which also you would give an extremely high chance to it being able to reach that potential. I think Gaethje wins it, but Holloway is every bit the live dog. Gonna be a doozy. 

Fucking Bo Nickal on the main card ahead of every fight positioned below it. Mental. I can understand the TV prelims being a prime spot for the other fighters that didn't make that fifth slot, but the Fight Pass prelims aren't. That's where that fight belongs. Figgy Smalls jerking the curtain is mad. Shows the depth of this one obviously, but the order is pretty wrong. 

A winnable fight for Jim Miller on UFC 300 is about as good as you can hope for. I'm 50/50 on who I think will get the W, hoping Jim finds a sub from somewhere though. 

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New 300 promo teasing us with fights that never happened.

Khabib vs Ferguson 😢

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Pereira vs Rumble 🧨 

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Erm…Aspinall vs Mir? 🤣

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You can guess which one would’ve pleased me most. 

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On 3/27/2024 at 2:38 PM, wandshogun09 said:

Alright, let’s get it out of the way. Yeah the poster is arse. Don’t know what they were thinking with that. Whatever.

While it looks shit on a screen, what I will say is that it looks really good on the side of buildings advertising the event. Maybe that's played into their thinking? Dunno.

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There are different posters out there. The original gold one we see quite a bit is being used for the electronic displays on the side of buildings and casinos. There are also graffiti-style ones on a few walkways and so on, as well as other fighter-specific ones being shown in actual casinos and hotels.

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Seriously what a unbeatable two weeks we're getting, seriously so good it's not even funny. I need a couple of days to recover and come down after mania week and then get properly excited and hyped for this one. 

We won't get a super card like this until 2029 maybe probably longer for UFC 400 but this one is just silly packed and the fight fans are being spoiled with this card. 

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On 4/4/2024 at 5:31 PM, wandshogun09 said:

And this, from said Countdown, would’ve made a pretty cool fucking poster. Just saying…

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Oof…starting to feel real now fellas! 

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I don’t know. I think it’s absolutely gonna be somewhere in between those extremes. It definitely has the potential to be one of the greatest shows ever but those kind of cards have to have pretty much everything click and go right. The chances of that are always slim just because of the unpredictable nature of MMA. I know MMA fans generally have short memories but for this to be THE greatest show of all time it’s gonna have to beat some stiff competition. 290 last year for example, 189 was an all timer, Pride had some epics etc. But on the other end of the scale, I can’t see it being a complete anti-climax either. Any card that has a crew of routinely exciting fighters like Oliveira, Pereira, Zhang, Miller, Figgy etc on there - not to mention a fight like Gaethje vs Holloway - is gonna be at least very good, if not way beyond that. I would be shocked if it’s a bad card with that lot on there, because none of them seem to know how to be boring. The ingredients for a dud aren’t really there with those lot. 

I think fans going in expecting the GREATEST CARD OF ALL TIME!!! and for every fight to be a Lawler vs Rory 2 thriller is just setting themselves up for disappointment and nothing is gonna please them. My thinking is it’s gonna at least be better than your average PPV. Anything more than that is a bonus.

While we’re speculating, what colour do we reckon the canvas is gonna be this time? Will they even bother with that? Do we see a return of the piss coloured mat from 200? 

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