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UFC 300: Constructing the Entire Card

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UFC 300 is just around the corner and we can expect a huge card with it being such a historic event. We already have a number of great fights announced and with UFC president, Dana White dropping fight news on a regular basis, we can expect nothing but fireworks from here on out.

So, the rules for constructing the card.

14 fight card. Four fight early prelims, a five fight preliminary card and a five fight main card.

All of the previously announced fights will be slotted into the card and all fights that are suggested have to be realistic (Brock Lesnar vs. Jim Miller isn’t possible, unfortunately).

Building UFC 300

Early Prelims

Bo Nickal vs. Cody Brundage (already announced)

Jim Miller vs. Tony Ferguson

Holly Holm vs. Meisha Tate 2

Juliana Pena vs. Irene Aldana (#1 contender’s bout)

Explanation

Bo Nickal vs. Cody Brundage is already booked for UFC 300 as is very much seen as showing Nickal off to the world on what is a huge card. Jim Miller deserves to be on the card having featured on both UFC 100 and UFC 200. He needs to clash with someone of a similar ability and who better than fan favourite, Tony Ferguson.

Holly Holm and Meisha Tate have been on a collision course since their UFC 196 title fight. Holm was winning the fight until Tate managed to lock in a choke to capture the belt. Both women are on the wrong side of 35 and it makes more sense now than ever to have the two women locked in the cage once again.

Booking the former women’s bantamweight champion, Juliana Pena would also make some sense. She competed at UFC 200 and has been demanding big fights since dropping the belt to Amanda Nunes. It won’t be a title fight, however, a #1 contender’s fight against Irene Aldana makes sense. Aldana put on one of the best fights of 2023 in December and if she is fit to fight again in April, this fight would make sense, bring in her Mexican audience and provide the next title contender.

Prelims

Cody Garbrandt vs. Deiveson Figueiredo (Heavily rumoured but not confirmed by the UFC)

Jiri Prochazka vs. Aleksandar Rakic (already announced)

Calvin Kattar vs. Aljamain Sterling (already announced)

Nick Diaz vs. Matt Brown

Paddy Pimblett vs. Terrancy McKinnney

Explanation

As before, both Jiri Prochazka vs. Aleksandar Rakic and Calvin Kattar vs. Aljamain Sterling have already been announced by Dana White, both of which are highly competitive bouts in their respective divisions.

Cody Garbrandt vs. Deiveson Figueiredo is a fight that No Love called for after his big win last time out. He took almost no damage in that one so should be fit to fight again in April. Figgy made a dominant debut at 135lbs against Rob Font towards the end of 2023 and needs another bantamweight fight to legitimise himself as a contender. This fight was scheduled previously down at flyweight, but book this one at bantamweight.

Nick Diaz vs. Matt Brown. Logically, these two men are legends of the game. Diaz hasn’t competed since 2021 at UFC 266, however, is still a huge draw. Having the ‘Diaz’ name on the UFC 300 card is a must and it doesn’t appear as if Nate will be available. Matt Brown is a card holding member of the legends league in the UFC. At 43, he’s picked up three post-fight bonuses in his last three fights and is always game for a scrap. Diaz vs. Brown (10 years too late) – Book it.

This one is maybe unlikely to happen, however, what better stage to put your potential ‘big name’ on than UFC 300? The UFC clearly want to back Paddy Pimblett, they’ve invested in him, given him slightly favourable match-ups and appreciate the star power that he has. Having competed at UFC 296, Pimblett should be able to turn around in time to compete in April. Similar to Nickal, it’s a good showcase to show off a potential superstar. Here begs the question, who should he face? Both Pimblett and Terrence McKinney are on the brink of a ranking spot and this fight makes a lot of sense. T-Wrecks has a fun style, however, has shown weaknesses so there are questions there. He’ll bring the heat during fight week and will, without a doubt be game to fight the Englishman.

Main Card

Charles Oliveira vs. Arman Tsarukyan (already announced (#1 contender’s bout))

Weili Zhang vs. Yan Xiaonan (already announced for the strawweight title)

Israel Adesanya vs. Khamzat Chimaev

Justin Gaethje vs. Max Holloway (for the BMF Title)

Alex Pereira vs. Tom Aspinall (for the interim heavyweight title)

Explanation

The first two bouts on our main card are already confirmed (and are great). Charles Oliveira and Arman Tsarukyan fighting for a shot at Islam Malkhachev will motivate both men to put on a brilliant fight. Similarly, the historic all Chinese strawweight title fight between Weili Zhang and Yan Xiaonan should provide fireworks.

Israel Adesanya will reportedly be cageside for the UFC 297 title fight between Sean Strickland and Dricus du Plessis, however, it makes more sense for him to meet Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 300. Adesanya is coming off a really disappointing loss last time out to Strickland and arguably doesn’t deserve an instant title shot. What better way to prove that he’s deserving than to meet fellow top contender, Khmazat Chimaev? Chimaev is coming off the biggest win of his career when he defeated Kamaru Usman. In that fight, however, he showed a few weaknesses, of which Adesanya could exploit. Chimaev is undefeated and has been calling for a title shot but needs at least one more big win before being granted that shot. A win over Adesanya makes a shot at the belt undeniable.

There’s no denying that UFC 300 needs a little firepower. UFC 200 had two title fights and a champion competing in a non-title bout. UFC 205 (the UFC’s debut in New York City) had three title fights and there have also been multiple events that have had three title fights featured. UFC 300 needs at least three title fights too. We already have the strawweight belt being contested but it’s time to insert another title bout on the main card. Enter the BMF title bout. Reigning champion (if you can call him that) Justin Gaethje should be fighting for the lightweight belt, however, due to Makhachev’s injury, it seems like he’s been kicked down the pecking order somewhat. He’s therefore in the business of ‘fun fights’ and there arguably isn’t a more fun fight out there for him than to clash with the former featherweight king, Max Holloway. Holloway is in a difficult position as he holds three losses to the champion in his division but is clearly the second best guy at 145lbs. Book the BMF title bout between these two guys at 155lbs and the fans win.

Talking about title fights, what better way to round out UFC 300 than to have the interim heavyweight belt competed for between the current champion, Tom Aspinall and the light heavyweight and former middleweight king, Alex Pereira. Pereira is a huge star and to be given the opportunity to win a belt in a third weight class and make history would be the caveat that would make this fight extremely fan friendly. Not only that, but Aspinall has quickly become a big star in the sport and the fact that Jon Jones is seemingly out for a prolonged period of time means that the division has to move on around him. This fight would answer many fans and experts questions, is a fun clash of styles and would round out UFC 300 with fireworks and a fan-friendly fight. Importantly, it also sets up the heavyweight division for the future, which, as we know is always important.

Other Potential Fights

Leon Edwards vs. Belal Muhammad for the welterweight championship
This one is heavily rumoured to be featured on the card, however, there has been no official announcement as of yet.

Israel Adesanya vs. UFC 297 main event winner for the middleweight strap
If the UFC decided not to go down the Adesanya vs. Chimaev route, they could look for a quick turnaround for the middleweight champion. Competing in the middle of January and then again in April could be tough, especially if Strickland and du Plessis are in a war, however, there’s potential there.

Jorge Masvidal/Nate Diaz/Brock Lesnar/Ronda Rousey return?
There have been plenty of rumours surrounding the return of a legend and either of these four competitors could be the ones to return. Lesnar and Rousey’s returns are the least likely, Masvidal isn’t a huge draw anymore having lost his last four fights and Diaz is notoriously difficult to negotiate with, however, it does appear that Diaz could be interested in a return…

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Frazer is a 26 year old MMA and boxing enthusiast from Coventry, England. He is the host of the MMASucka podcast which comes out every Monday.

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