UFC 300 Is Already Stacked (You’re Just Not Looking Hard Enough)
— Updated on 19 February 2024

UFC 300 Is Already Stacked (You’re Just Not Looking Hard Enough)

— Updated on 19 February 2024
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

When did MMA fans become so goddamn spoiled?

In almost every online fan discussion about UFC 300 — the sport’s marquee event of 2024 — the tone has been one of disappointment. But a closer examination of the fights already locked ‘n’ loaded will tell you we’re in for a certifiable banger.

Ahead of the hotly-anticipated main event’s unveiling, which is expected to be announced this weekend at the UFC 298 post-fight press conference, we thought we’d break down everything we can expect so far.

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Who is fighting at UFC 300?

UFC 300 Card Fights

Under any other circumstances, the majority of the bouts announced for UFC 300 could headline their very own pay-per-view cards.

Just think about it.

At least two current UFC champions; seven former UFC champions; an Olympic gold medallist and former two-time PFL champion making her debut; the UFC’s hottest prospect (who is also one of America’s most decorated collegiate wrestlers in history).

On the merits of the following alone, we’re extremely confident there won’t be any complaints come April 13th (April 14th for us Aussies).

Zhang Weili (C) vs Yan Xiaonan — Women’s Strawweight

Despite the Rose Namajunas-induced hiccup that interrupted what would’ve been an unbroken title reign, it wouldn’t be a stretch to characterise Zhang Weili as a dominant two-time champion.

It’s to the point that we’re struggling to remember the last time she wasn’t involved in an entertaining bout.

She faces a dangerous up-and-comer in #1 division contender (and #10 UFC women’s pound-for-pound athlete) Yan Xiaonan, marking the promotion’s first-ever title fight featuring two Chinese-born talents.

The highlight clips are bound to be insane.

Justin Gaethje (C) vs Max Holloway — Lightweight [BMF Title]

When it comes to combat sports, the phrase “unstoppable force meets an immovable object” is thrown around a lot. But I honestly can’t think of a more appropriate descriptor for what we’re about to witness between Justin Gaethje and Max Holloway.

Gaethje, who is the current BMF titleholder (and former interim lightweight champ), has pledged to leave it all on the line for a final run at the real belt currently being retained by Islam Makachev. And he’ll certainly make a solid case for himself if he defeats the Blessed Express.

Holloway, who is the former featherweight champion, has moved up a weight class for this epic battle. And given he’s never been knocked down or knocked out, that legendary chin he’s renowned for will certainly be tested by his heavy-handed opponent.

These are arguably two of the slickest strikers on the UFC roster. Expect blood, sweat, and pure fireworks.

Charles Oliveira vs Arman Tsarukyan — Lightweight

The only thing more dangerous than a fighter hungry for gilded glory is a fighter who’s reached the summit before and now looks to reclaim what was once his.

That’s essentially what we’re dealing with here.

The outcome of this 155-pound title eliminator will determine Islam Makhachev’s inaugural defence against somebody whose name isn’t Alexander Volkanovski. And I think I speak for everybody when I say we desperately need to see Oliveria vs Makhachev II.

Side note: since his career renaissance, when hasn’t Do Bronx delivered on the excitement factor?

Jiri Prochazka vs Aleksandar Rakic — Light Heavyweight

They both have deadly knockout power.

They’re both coming off a devastating loss — Jiri Prochazka against current division champion Alex Pereira; Aleksandar Rakic against former division champion Jan Blachowicz (who was Prochazka’s original opponent before his shoulder injury).

Suffice it to say, these fellas have plenty to prove, and it’ll be expressed in delightfully violent fashion.

Calvin Kattar vs Aljamain Sterling — Featherweight

Say what you will about former bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling and the circumstances in which he ascended to the division’s throne: he was always game. Now, he’s once again testing his mettle by taking on a brand new weight class.

If he succeeds in his featherweight debut, it’ll mark the beginning of a potentially exciting chapter that could very well culminate in a title shot.

If he loses, well… I suppose all the Funkmaster haters out there will be quite satisfied, won’t they?

Bo Nickal vs Cody Brundage — Middleweight

Granted, he’s only had five professional fights (and only spent roughly six minutes inside a cage), but we’re definitely seeing a star in the making with the undefeated Bo Nickal.

He faces his toughest challenge yet in the far more experienced 10-5 Cody Brundage, though given Nickal’s elite wrestling pedigree and proven knockout power, expect another short night in the office for all involved.

Maybe after this, UFC President & CEO Dana White will feed young Bo a ranked opponent.

Deiveson Figueiredo vs Cody Garbrandt — Bantamweight

Once upon a time, they were kings of their divisions. Now on the path to (re)tasting gilded glory, Deiveson Figueiredo — who moves up a weight class — is coming to blows with Cody “No Love” Garbrandt.

It’s a classic submission specialist vs striker battle. Though you shouldn’t overlook Figgy’s striking arsenal; nor should you overlook Garbrandt’s wrestling background.

Similar to most bouts in the lighter weight divisions, this one promises to be all gas, no brakes,

Holly Holm vs Kayla Harrison — Women’s Bantamweight

Everyone knows Holly Holm as the woman who ended the reign of Ronda Rousey with a brutal head-kick KO. But you might be less familiar with Kayla Harrison.

As one of the UFC’s most exciting recent signings next to Bellator transplant Michael “Venom” Page and the 6’7″ Robelis Despaigne, the Olympic gold medallist/world champion judoka/two-time PFL women’s lightweight champion should definitely be on your radar.

Between her top-order grappling skills — which earned her a gold medal; whereas Rousey only ever earned bronze — and her legitimate striking ability, think of Kayla Harrison as who people thought Ronda Rousey was before Holm and Amanda Nunes effectively retired her with back-to-back finishes.

Sodiq Yusuff vs Diego Lopes (featherweight), Jessica Andrade vs Marina Rodriguez (women’s strawweight), and Bobby Green vs promotion veteran Jim Miller (lightweight) have also inked contracts for UFC 300.

RELATED: Win Or Lose, These UFC Fighters Make Us Proud To Be Australian

Do we know the UFC 300 main event?

UFC 300 Card Fights: Dricus du Plessis vs Israel Adesanya
(Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

UPDATE [18/02/2024]: The UFC 300 main event has officially been confirmed, and it’ll involve current light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira vs former division titleholder Jamahal Hill. This represents something of a revenge tale given Hill claimed the belt from Pereira’s mentor and close friend Glover Teixeira at UFC 283.

At the time of this writing, while there hasn’t exactly been a shortage of rumours, the UFC 300 headline bout has yet to be confirmed.

Possible Headliners

According to prolific MMA journalist Ariel Helwani, potential headliners for UFC 300 have been narrowed down to just four possibilities:

“The top choice is [Leon Edwards vs Khamzat Chimaev]. This could all fizzle out and I think we’ll find out in the next few days. But I believe that is the top choice at the moment.

Helwani added during the same episode of The MMA Hour:

“I also believe three other fights are in play as well. [Leon Edwards vs Belal Muhammad, Israel Adesanya vs Dricus du Plessis, and Khamzat Chimaev vs Dricus du Plessis]. So, let’s see what happens.”

The chatter has also alluded to light-heavyweight king Alex Pereira vs Tom Aspinall for the interim heavyweight title, thereby giving the former a chance at being the UFC’s first three-division champion. Though this would be a rather complicated proposition considering Aspinall should theoretically be facing the injured champion Jon Jones or title challenger Stipe Miocic.

UFC 300 Card Fights: Jon Jones
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

On a related note, Jones has revealed he was approached to headline UFC 300.

“I got a call from [UFC Chief Business Officer] Hunter Campbell, one of the head lawyers of the UFC,” explained Jones.

“He said, ‘Jon, I know it’s only nine weeks away, but if there’s any chance you’re feeling up to it, it would be awesome news for the community that you’re coming back and headlining one of the biggest events ever.'”

“As honoured as I am for the opportunity, I just don’t think I’ll be ready. I just don’t,” said the sport’s GOAT, referencing his torn pectoral muscle which has taken him out of competition for months now.

In contrast, Australia’s ever-game featherweight king, Alexander Volkanovski, has put his hand up for the job ahead of his own title defence against Ilia Topuria at this weekend’s UFC 298.

“So UFC 300, that could happen. I plan on getting through this fight without injury and last I checked, I think that card still needs a headliner, right? said Volk.

“And given they haven’t announced yet, maybe we wait until this weekend. “Maybe they offer me something. Because I’ll do it.”

The Great added: “I’ll be in [Dana White’s] ear for sure. And I’m saying it to you now: if the UFC needs somebody, you know the guy. I’ll do it. And I’ll fight at any weight class.”

“Obviously it would be hard to find a big fight at featherweight, there is no clear guy there. But what about lightweight? There could definitely be something big there.”

Volkanovski vs Makhachev III?

The Conor McGregor Question

UFC 300 Card Fights: Conor McGregor
(Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

UFC 300 always seemed like the ideal event for Conor McGregor to return. Over the past few years, however, the promotion’s biggest-ever pay-per-view draw has been dragging his titanium-fused leg.

“Well, first of all, he is coming back from one of the nastiest injuries you can come back from,” Dana White told MMA columnist Kevin Iole.

“How long was Anderson Silva out when he did it? How long was Chris Weidman out when he did it? You know, the guys who break that bone — so that’s an issue right there, #1.”

“#2, Conor McGregor doesn’t need the f**king money. So, when you don’t need the money, it’s not as easy. I mean, Khabib [Nurmagomedov] doesn’t need the money. Khabib retired.”

White went on to frame Conor McGregor’s eventual return against rival The Ultimate Fighter coach Michael Chandler as “the greatest comeback in sports history.” 

But by all accounts, it just won’t be happening at UFC 300.

Watch This Space

UFC President & CEO Dana White has hinted at the possibility of the grand reveal occurring during this weekend’s UFC 298 post-fight press conference, which will take place at the Honda Ventre in Anaheim, California.

“Maybe I’ll announce it this weekend at the press conference.”

Initially, fans, media, and even fighters waited with bated breath for an announcement during Super Bowl LVIII. Some have even speculated that a filming obligation White said would take him away from the game in the first quarter was linked to the headliner reveal. But that obviously never happened.

UFC 300 Venue, Date, & Start Time (Australia)

UFC 300 is scheduled to go down at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas on April 14th, 2024.

Here in Australia, the Early Prelims will kick off at 8 AM (AEST), the Preliminary Card will kick off at 10 AM (AEST), and the Main Card begins at 12 PM (AEST).

You’ll soon be able to order the pay-per-view event via Main Event on Kayo.

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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