UFC 300 Shaping Up to be A Great Night

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It’s been happening all throughout UFC history. Every time there’s a noteworthy pay-per-view event put on by the promotion, the hype and the build-up precipitates and eventually leads up to a fever pitch. On Saturday night, the build-up to the landmark UFC 300 on April 13 in Las Vegas (which had already been going for several weeks) began in earnest.

Over the past few weeks, the question of “Who will fight in the main event?” was the most popular one to be asked among MMA circles. Fans all over the world tried their best to forecast which two fighters would earn the coveted slot in the anticipated spring pay-per-view’s headlining bout.

Super Sunday Comes and Goes Without Any Announcement

They even tried to predict when the pairing for the UFC 300 main attraction would be revealed. A week ago, in the run-up to the instant classic known as Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, there was speculation that the main event would be announced during the game coverage.

While that would have been an ideal day and time to break that news, given that north of 123 million viewers turned on the NFL finale at some point during the evening of Feb. 11, no such news came during the football game. In retrospect, this was a good move.

The day of the Super Bowl is a day that belongs solely to the gridiron. If Dana White made the announcement at any point on gameday in Las Vegas, he would have essentially hijacked the spotlight from the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Brock Purdy. Aside from a Bud Light commercial featuring him, White made no other appearance on Super Bowl Sunday.

An Answer to the Question

With Super Sunday having passed and no definitive answer given as to who would step into the famous Octagon during the second weekend of April, UFC 298 loomed on the night of Feb. 17 from Anaheim, CA. Immediately following Ilia Topuria (15-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) knocking out Alexander Volkanovski (26-4 MMA, 13-3 UFC) for the UFC Featherweight Championship in the main event of the evening at Honda Center, the home ice of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, White took to social media to end all speculation on the topic of the headliner in less than two months’ time.

Former GLORY Kickboxing Middleweight and Light Heavyweight Champion Alex Pereira (9-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC) will put his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship at risk against challenger and No. 1 contender Jamahal Hill (12-1, 1 NC MMA, 6-1, 1 NC UFC) in the main attraction that night.

Sizing Up Pereira and Hill

As Dana White mentioned in the announcement, Pereira has finished seven of his nine foes in his MMA career via knockout. “Poatan” can bring fireworks to the cage that rival ones that light up the night sky on July 4 across the United States.

Hill is a great fighter in his own right. When he enters the UFC 300 main event on the night of April 13, he will do so having knocked out three of his last four opponents, with two of those knockouts happening before the bell to end the first round even tolled.

Having a champion vs. No. 1 contender fight for a championship is the best way to go about it for UFC 300 in less than two months. Think about it: Alex Pereira and Jamahal Hill are currently the two top dogs at 205 lbs. In a couple of months’ time, we’ll see who gets all the bones in the yard.

Co-Main Event is Equally Amazing

While the main event looks like an appealing five rounds (or less) of action on paper, it’s just one aspect of an entire evening of high-quality competitive violence coming your way. It may be happening roughly a fortnight after Easter Sunday, but it’s got some of the best treasures of an Easter egg hunt just the same.

Already, we’ve seen the co-main event of UFC 300 get announced. Before Pereira and Hill take to the cage, strawweight supremacy will be determined when current titleholder Zhang Weili (24-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) battles No. 1 contender Yan Xiaonan (17-3, 1 NC MMA, 8-2 UFC) for the 115-lb. belt.

This is going to be another historic moment for the UFC. Not only is a championship on the line that evening, territorial bragging rights are up for grabs, also, since it’s the first title fight pitting two contenders from The Red Dragon against each other.

Somebody’s taking that belt back to China with her. Only time will tell who it is.

Harrison Making UFC Debut April 13

One of the most talked about names in women’s MMA over the last several years has been that of former PFL Women’s Lightweight Champion Kayla Harrison. The first woman to hold a 155-lb. strap in MMA history will move down to bantamweight for a contest against Holly Holm.

On any other card, the Harrison vs. Holm tilt might have been the headlining bout. Despite not getting the main event slot, expect the former Olympian in judo to treat it as such. Harrison is the face of women’s MMA in the post-Rousey era and her bid in free agency had the same kind of energy that LeBron James‘ had in the summer of 2010 in the NBA.

Just in those three fights alone, you have some appealing pairings. This Futurama clip comes to mind:

Final Thoughts: Will UFC 300 Card Hold Together?

As it stands now, UFC 300 looks to be an exciting night of fights in April. At the same time, however, we have to come to grips with the realization that not all of the fights mentioned here may happen.

With a little under two months remaining before fight night happens, anything can happen. Any bout that’s been announced to this point could get scrapped for any number of reasons.

This is part of the fight game. With the weeks until UFC 300 eventually turning to days, fans will be left to hope that this event stays intact.

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Drew Zuhosky has been writing about combat sports since May of 2018, coming to MMASucka after stints at Overtime Heroics and Armchair All-Americans. A graduate of Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, Drew is a charter member of the Youngstown Press Club. Prior to beginning his professional career, Drew was a sportswriter for YSU's student-run newspaper, The Jambar, where he supplied Press Box Perspective columns every week.

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