UFC 300 preview: Biggest MMA event of 2024 as several champions feature

Michael Bolton

The night MMA fans across the world have been waiting for is finally upon us this weekend, as UFC 300 takes place in Las Vegas.

With several former and current undisputed champions on the card, fans are in for a treat from the very beginning.

After much speculation over who would feature on the card, the UFC have ensured this is worth the wait, with two undisputed title fights, the BMF belt, no.1 contender fights and the debut of one of the biggest stars of women's MMA.

The main event

The main event will see Alex Periera make the first defence of his light-heavyweight title, as he takes on the last champion Jamahal Hill.

Periera's quick rise in the UFC has seen him become a champion in two divisions, and a favourite among fans. After losing the middleweight belt to rival Israel Adesanya, Periera responded quickly and moved up to light-heavyweight, where he captured the title against Jiri Procházka.

That title, was last held by Hill after he defeated Glover Texeira at UFC 283, but it was made vacant after he suffered a serious injury.

After almost 15 months out, Hill will be keen to show he is still the man to beat at 205 pounds, and has made it clear he would still be champion had he not been injured.

While Periera has the power to end the fight at any moment, Hill is well-rounded, and may use his grappling skills to gain an advantage.

History for China

In the co-main, history will be made in the women's strawweight division, as the first all-chinese title fight takes place between Zhang Weili and Yan Xiaonan.

After losing her title in 2021, Weili has brought her game to another level, and goes into Saturday's bout off the back of a dominant victory over Amanda Lemos at UFC 292.

For Xiaonan, she put herself into contention with a first round knockout over former champion Jessica Andrade at UFC 288. She has shown she has the power to cause Weili trouble, but the grappling of the champion could be too much to handle.

Guaranteed excitement

In arguably the most exciting fight of the card, Justin Gaethje makes the first defense of his BMF title against Max Holloway.

Gaethje, who won the belt with a headkick knockout over Dustin Poirier, has 12 fight bonuses in his UFC career, faces Holloway, who has landed the most significant strikes in the history of the UFC. This is guaranteed violence.

Entertainment follows both these men, who are never in a boring fight. Gaethje arguably has the most power in the lightweight division, while Holloway has never been knocked down.

An impressive performance from either fighter could put them next in line for the title, but it is likely this will be a war.

Gaethje was expected to be next in line to face Makhachev, but if this fight goes as expected, it will likely be the end of 2024 before either fighter returns.

Implications for lightweight

Another fight that has big implications for the lightweight division is Charles Olivera v Arman Tsarukysn.

Following his loss to Islam Makhachev, Oliveria responded with a first round knockout over Benil Dariush, and was set for a rematch for the title against Makhachev, but had to pull out due to injury.

For Tsarukysn, this will be his chance to show he deserves a shot at the title. Like Olivera, his last win was a knockout victory over Dariush.

Both fighters have power in their hands, while the submission threat of Olivera will make exchanges on the ground very interesting, and may be his key to victory.

Olivera has the most submissions and finishes in the UFC, and has taken the road less travelled to find success.

Tsarukysn has shown he his one of the hardest hitting fighters at 155 pounds, and while Olivera shows he can recover quickly from being knocked down, he cannot afford to take too much damage.

Return from injuries

When there is so many former champions on the prelims, it is a sign of a great card.

In the light-heavyweight division, former champion Jiri Procházka hopes to bounce back from his defeat to Periera when he takes on Alexander Rakic.

Procházka's loss to Periera was his first fight in almost 18 months due to injury, and will be keen to put himself right back into contention and face the winner of the main event.

For Rakic, it has been a frustrating two years, having been ruled out due to a serious knee injury in May 2022. Expect him to fight on the outside with his leg kicks, as he looks to make up for lost time.

At 145, Aljaiam Sterling makes the move to featherweight when he faces Calvin Kattar.

After losing the title to Sean O'Malley, Sterling made the move up from bantamweight he has long talked about, and will be tested by Kattar, who is coming back from a leg injury against Arnold Allen in October 2022.

Debut for Harrison

Arguably the biggest star in women's MMA outside of the UFC makes her debut in the promotion on Saturday, as Kayla Harrison takes on Holly Holm at 135 pounds.

A former champion in PFL, Harrison's debut comes with much excitement, with her grappling and judo background making her a difficult opponent to handle when the fight gets to the ground.

She faces a former champion in Holm, who would love to stop the hype train and make a real statement to show she still has what it takes to hang with the elites of bantamweight. This will be Harrison's first time fightling this light, so a big weight cut is one to watch.

Best of the rest

To show the depth of this card, the first fight of the night os two former champions in Deiveson Figueiredo and Cody Garbradnt.

A fight originally scheduled for the UFC flyweight title in 2020, this will be Figueiredo's second fight at bantamweight, following his win over Rob Font in December.

Garbrandt is on a two-fight win streak, and would be back in the top 10 with a win over the Brazilian fighter. Should Figueiredo win, a fight with a top five fighter could be on the cards.

In a battle of the veterans, Jim Miller will we the first fighter to compete at UFC 100, 200 and now 300 when he faces Bobby Green.

While he may be a veteran of the sport, Miller has showed age is just a number, with four wins in his last five fights. Miller has the most fights and wins in UFC history, and will be aiming to break records on the biggest stage.