UFC 300 Predictions: Full main card picks for the milestone event

 | 12th April | 

5 mins read

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UFC 300 is finally here. The milestone card will emanate from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday April 13. The main event sees Alex Pereira defend his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against Jamahal Hill. Strong support comes from a UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship bout between title-holder Zhang Weili and challenger Yan Xiaonan. 

The symbolic BMF title will be on the line as Justin Gaethje faces Max Holloway at Lightweight. At the same weight, former champion Charles Oliveira returns against Arman Tsarukyan. Here are my UFC 300 predictions ahead of the showpiece event.

UFC 300 Tips

  • Pereira to win @ 4/5
  • Weili by knockout @ 7/4
  • Gaethje by knockout @ 27/20

Pereira vs Hill

Two-weight world champion Pereira gets a stiff test in the first defence of the belt he won from Jiri Prochazka last time out. Hill actually won the same Light Heavyweight Championship in his last bout, a January 2023 victory over Glover Teixeira. An achilles injury saw ‘Sweet Dreams’ relinquish the title and now he is coming to right the wrong.

There is a reason Pereira is fourth on the UFC pound-for-pound rankings. ‘Poatan’ has been a whirlwind since joining the company in 2021. He has beaten every man he has faced in the Octagon, with the only blemish coming in a rematch with Israel Adesanya where he had won the initial meeting. 

This is a tight meeting on paper, with Hill also only incurring one loss in his MMA career. That TKO at the hands of Paul Craig in 2021 has been made to look like an aberration since, with Hill racking up four wins, four performance bonuses and three knockouts since.

Nobody does knockouts quite like Pereira though. I feel like he has the edge in a fight that is likely to be fought and won with striking. My pick is Pereira at 4/5.

Weili vs Xiaonan

UFC 300 would not feel complete without one of the all-time greats of women’s MMA. Weili is 34 years of age but is still performing at an astounding level. Last time out, she outnumbered opponent Amanda Lemos 296-29 in strikes. This is the largest differential in women’s UFC history.

Xiaonan is up against it in this battle of China. When she lost back-to-back fights to Carla Esparza and Marina Rodriguez a few years back, she must have thought this chance would never come. But a tight win over Mackenzie Dern and a superb display against Jessica Andrade have snagged her a shot at the Strawweight gold.

Weili thrives when the lights are brightest and I cannot see past her extending her reign here. Only the brilliant ‘Thug’ Rose Namajunas has beaten ‘Magnum’ in the UFC. Xiaonan is a capable fighter but she does not reside on that Hall of Fame level. I’m leaning towards a Weili knockout at 7/4.

Gaethje vs Holloway

When the UFC’s semi-official ‘BMF’ belt is on the line, fans expect a certain type of fight. A belt untethered to ranking or status, it is essentially a badge of honour for the crowd-pleasing warriors of MMA.

These two know a lot about pleasing the crowd. Gaethje and Holloway have claimed 13 Fight of the Night bonuses between them. Neither are quite in their pomp any more, but both are capable of putting on electric displays. 

If they are worth fighting, then Gaethje has fought them. He might not have beaten Khabib Nurmagomedov and Charles Oliveira, but he took them on. ‘The Highlight’ has beaten Dustin Poirier, Tony Ferguson, Donald Cerrone and Rafael Fiziev and held the UFC Interim Lightweight Championship.

Holloway has gone one better, having reigned as UFC Featherweight Champion. The losses are becoming a little more frequent now. But who can forget his victories over Oliveira, Frankie Edgar, Anthony Pettis and Jose Aldo?

This fight finds both men in improving form, with each entering the bout off the back of two wins. Something has to give in this ‘BMF’ attraction. Gaethje is a knockout artist par excellence, with 20 stoppages from his 25 victories. I feel this will be his 21st such victory, a selection with odds of 27/20.

Oliveira vs Tsarukyan

Oliveira could add some further history to UFC 300 as he looks to extend his company-record for most UFC submissions to 17. ‘Do Bronx’ can hit too, with 10 knockouts in his 34 victories. But it is on the mat where this artist paints his most vivid masterpieces. 

Tsarukyan is a capable grappler, having had success in the NAGA Los Angeles competition last year. ‘Akhalkalakets’ is an all-rounder, with five submissions, seven decisions and nine knockouts on his ledger. He comes into this one as the betting favourite at 4/9, reflecting his educated skill-set and ability to engineer a win from anywhere.

I must say I like the underdog in this one, though. Oliveira may have lost his last title fight to Islam Makhachev but reports of his demise have been grossly exaggerated. I feel like he is the superior ground fighter and perhaps even a match for Tsarukyan on the feet. I’m going for the long shot of an Oliveira victory at 7/4

Nickal vs Brundage

Given the enviable task of opening this show of shoes are Bo Nickal and Cody Brundage. The former is unbeaten in five fights with five finishes. Nickal is showing the hallmarks of a future star. Brundage is one of the company’s most active competitors, having fought four times in 2023. 

Last year saw Brundage pull the nose up on a three-fight freefall. After losing a trio of bouts stretching back to December 2022, the BJJ blue belt has now won his last two outings.

Beating Nickal looks a step too far at this stage, though. The standout college athlete and Olympic trialist is an overwhelming 1/33 favourite to prevail. Value can be found in choosing his method. Nickal has three submissions and two knockouts from his five wins thus far. Brundage can be gotten to, with his two knockout defeats each coming in the first round. Thus I am leaning towards Nickal to secure the knockout here at 5/4.

You can find all our latest UFC tips and analysis at our Betfred Insights UFC page

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