300 flagship events is a milestone that many MMA promotions dream of reaching, but very few of them actually get that far. In just 14 short years, Scott Coker’s Bellator MMA is on the cusp of that important plateau.
This Saturday night, the corks get popped off of the champagne bottles and those behind the promotion get to take a celebratory sip. Although Bellator 300 is the organization’s 306th-lifetime card, the party will be just the same.
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At capacity, the Pechanga Arena in San Diego seats 16,100 fans for combat sporting events. Those seats will be filled and the crowd will be rocking over the weekend for the fights.
As is customary, Paramount Global-owned Showtime will have the action this Saturday night. Live coverage of Bellator 300 kicks off with the undercard at 6:30 pm ET/ 3:30 pm PT on YouTube. The three-fight main card follows at 10 pm ET/ 7 pm PT on Showtime.
Lightweight Grand Prix Semifinal in Bellator 300 Main Event Saturday Night
All told, absent of any more cancellations between now and Saturday night, Bellator 300 features 16 contests. Championship bouts make up the main card.
At the top of the show, a berth in the upcoming Bellator MMA Lightweight Grand Prix Final is on the line during the Bellator 300 main event. Incumbent champion Usman Nurmagomedov (17-0 MMA, 6-0 Bellator) seeks a chance at a $1 million (USD) payoff when he battles No. 4 contender Brent Primus (12-3 MMA, 10-3 Bellator).
This championship fight/ tournament semifinal will be five rounds at five minutes per round at most and carries high stakes. Should Usman Nurmagomedov lose during any stage of this tournament, so goes his lightweight championship and the tournament champion would become the permanent champion.
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) October 4, 2023
Bellator 300 Main Event Fighter Comparison and Betting Odds
Heading into the Bellator 300 main event on Saturday night, champion Usman Nurmagomedov stands as the taller man at 5-foot-11, compared to the 5-foot-10 frame of Brent Primus. The challenger owns a one-inch reach advantage (69 inches to 68 inches) over the champion ahead of this title bout.
As of Thursday evening, the oddsmakers have Usman Nurmagomedov installed as a -2400 favorite, with Brent Primus countering as a +1200 underdog. If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening this weekend, please wager responsibly.
Usman Nurmagomedov Taking it One Fight at a Time
Champion Usman Nurmagomedov has yet to lose so far in his professional MMA career. Back in March, he punched his ticket to the semifinal with a quarterfinal-round victory against Benson Henderson (30-12 MMA, 7-7 Bellator) by way of first-round submission due to a rear-naked choke. Henderson retired from MMA as a competitor after the fight.
On Wednesday, Nurmagomedov met with the media. He says he’s approaching this tournament on a fight-by-fight basis.
“For me, it’s like, more important to win every fight,” Nurmagomedov began. “It’s not like ‘Grand Prix or defend my title.’ For me, it’s to not lose. But I [do] not believe this guy can beat me. He said he’s going to be pushed, but why he didn’t push himself when he was fighting with (Alexander) Shabily?”
Usman Nurmagomedov has spent his MMA life in the shadows of his cousin, Khabib. Can he cement his own legacy during the Bellator 300 main event?
Brent Primus Looking to Spring Upset in Bellator 300 Main Event
In the other corner, Brent Primus has gone 3-2 in his last five fights. He wasn’t even supposed to have been in this grand prix tournament at all.
Prior to the start of the tourney, Primus was elevated to the eight-contender bracket from the pool of alternates after the disqualification of Sidney Outlaw from the field and subsequent six-month ban (at minimum).
Outlaw was barred from the tournament upon returning positive drug tests for three banned substances. Primus made the most of his newfound opportunity with a unanimous decision over Mansour Barnaoui (20-6 MMA, 1-2 Bellator on May 12. During the same Wednesday press conference, Primus guaranteed an upset of Nurmagomedov at the podium.
“I feel great,” Primus said. “I know he’s a tough opponent and man, I prepared really well for this fight. I’m ready for anything and I’m going to shock everybody and he’s going to be 17-1 after Saturday.”
Primus has proven himself the be a man on a mission, cashing in on a chance that would have otherwise been unavailable to him earlier on in the year. He’s already eliminated one quality fighter from the field, so can he do it again here?
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Stylistically, the Bellator 300 main event looks to favor Brent Primus, a third-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, compared to Usman Nurmagomedov’s status as a Muay-Thai and Sambo fighter.
Nurmagomedov Can Punch His Way to a Win
Usman Nurmagomedov, much like his cousin, has been known to have a well-rounded fight game. He can get the job done inside the distance in brutal fashion.
During the second round of a scheduled three against Svyatoslav Shabanov in 2020, he started off with a series of kicks. While Shabanov attempted to take Nurmagomedov down, his defense was as stout as could be.
Nurmagomedov continued to piece Shabanov up with strikes and was on his feet constantly to keep his opponent guessing. Simply put, he was too fast to keep up with and too good to knock off his gameplan.
Upon dropping Shabanov with a leg kick, Nurmagomedov took back mount and landed punches to the head, forcing the referee to intervene.
Usman Nurmagomedov doesn’t need to deviate too much from his gameplan here. If he takes control of the fight early on in the Bellator 300 main event, he’ll be in the tournament final next time out.
Brent Primus Can be Vicious With Kicks
In the other corner, Brent Primus is also known for highlight-reel finishes. Just go back and watch his first fight against Michael Chandler from Bellator NYC at Madison Square Garden.
Round one of the contest saw Primus opening things up with a lead leg kick to Chandler’s ankle. Almost immediately, Chandler was wobbling. From there, Primus very smartly attacked the ankle repeatedly, breaking it on contact.
With Chandler’s lead leg compromised, he was forced to use his fists, landing a counter right hand. Moments later, the referee called time to examine the injury. On the advice of the fight doctor, the contest was waved off in under two and a half minutes.
If Primus can chop up Nurmagomedov with leg kicks, he’ll score the upset he craves in the Bellator 300 main event.
This is a satisfying end to a great weekend of fights. If you don’t have plans for Saturday night just yet, consider them made now.
Prediction: Usman Nurmagomedov by First-Round TKO.