UFC 300: 5 Preliminary Fights to Watch

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UFC 300 is slated for Saturday and boasts one of the best cards from top to bottom in UFC history.

The main card features two divisional titles and the BMF belt. Alex Pereira is set to defend his light heavyweight title against former champion Jamahal Hill, who relinquished his belt because of injury. Weili Zhang will defend her strawweight belt against fellow China native Xiaonan Yan, while former interim lightweight champ Justin Gaethje is putting his BMF belt up against former featherweight champion Max Holloway. The main card is rounded out with former lightweight king Charles Oliveira taking on Arman Tsarukyan in a crucial lightweight matchup and wrestling standout Bo Nickal squaring off with Cody Brundage.

But first, the preliminary card is rife with action. Each bout could headline a UFC Fight Night event, while many could co-main a PPV card. It features former champions galore, an exciting UFC newcomer, and top contenders. All of these fights are worth watching, but here are some of the best.

Jiri Prochazka vs. Aleskandar Rakic

Former light heavyweight champion Prochazka, who vacated after a win over Glover Teixeira but was defeated by Teixeira’s teammate, Alex Pereira, for a shot at the vacant title, is looking to stay atop the title picture with a win over top contender Rakic.

Rakic returns for the first time since suffering a leg injury against former champion Jan Blachowicz in May 2022. Rakic has wins over Thiago Santos and Anthony Smith, but a win over Prochazka would undoubtedly be the biggest of his career yet. It could earn him a title shot or put him one fight away.

Prochazka tasted defeat in the UFC for the first time but has been a wrecking ball otherwise, finishing Texieira, Dominick Reyes and Volkan Oezdemir.

This will be a wild fight, as Prochazka fights always are, and is definitely worth watching. Only on a card like UFC 300 would this fight be a prelim.

Calvin Kattar vs. Aljamain Sterling

Kattar will welcome Sterling to the UFC’s featherweight division. Sterling, the former bantamweight champion who made three defenses before a TKO loss to Sean O’Malley, will likely need to find some success grappling to get the better of Kattar, a talented striker.

Kattar is looking to snap a two-fight losing skid and reinsert himself in the 145-pound title picture. He has wins over Giga Chikadze, Dan Ige, Jeremy Stephens and Ricardo Lamas. Sterling, meanwhile, is looking to jump the line and earn either a title shot or title eliminator.

There’s a lot at stake here, as Sterling has much to gain with a win over Kattar. A third straight loss would be devastating to Kattar. It’s an intriguing fight stylistically and stakes-wise.

Holly Holm vs. Kayla Harrison

Former bantamweight champion Holm will welcome Olympic gold medalist Judoka Harrison to the UFC on a landmark card.

Harrison has amassed a 16-1 record as a professional mixed martial artist since her 2018 debut, nearly all in the Professional Fighters League. She won lightweight tournament championships in 2019 and 2021. Her only defeat is to Larissa Pacheco, who she had beaten twice previously. Harrison has backed up the hype so far, and enters the UFC to a lot of fanfare. She is getting a tough fight off the bat against Holm, who shocked the world when she KO’d Ronda Rousey to win gold.

Another title has eluded Holm since, but she has racked up an impressive resume with wins over Raquel Pennington (twice), Irene Aldana, Megan Anderson, Yana Santos and Bethe Correira.

Holm’s title came off a prominent Judoka in Rousey. Now she welcomes another star Judoka in Harrison to the UFC.

Jalin Turner vs. Renato Moicano

Turner, a finishing machine at lightweight, will take on grappling specialist Moicano. All seven of “The Tarantula’s” UFC wins and all 14 of his professional wins have come via finish, in fact. He will look to add Moicano to a resume that already features Bobby Green, Brad Riddell, Jamie Mullarkey and Uros Medic. The No. 10-ranked lightweight lost split decisions to Mateusz Gamrot (#5) and Dan Hooker (#9) that could have gone either way.

Moicano, currently ranked at #13, could break into the top-10 in a talent-rich division with a win over Turner.

While the stakes are high, this is simply a barnburner of a fight waiting to happen. While Moicano does not have any T/KOs on his record, 10 of his 18 wins have come via submission. He, too, holds a win over Riddell, as well as victories over Drew Dober and Alexander Hernandez. He beat Chase Hooper in a pro grappling match, too. Turner has grappling skills of his own, so it would be really fun to see this fight hit the mat at some point.

Both men bring action and someone is likely getting finished here. Strap in.

Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Cody Garbrandt

A battle of former UFC champions is penciled in as the curtain-jerker for UFC 300. That’s how you know the prelims are stacked. Former flyweight champion Figueiredo will take on former bantamweight champion Garbrandt at 135 pounds.

It’s Figueiredo who finds himself ranked at number 9 in the division while the former champ is on the outside of the rankings looking in. Garbrandt, after a tough stretch following the loss of his belt to T.J. Dillashaw, is back on the right track with wins over Brian Kelleher and Trevin Jones. “No Love,” who has wins over Dominick Cruz and Raphael Assuncao, could find himself right back in the mix if he stuns Figueiredo.

Figueiredo moved up in weight after going 1-2-1 in the quadrilogy against former flyweight champion Brandon Moreno. He immediately got off on the right foot with a win over Rob Font. His time at flyweight features wins over the likes of current champion Alexandre Pantoja, Joseph Benavidez (twice), Alex Perez, Jarred Brooks and Tim Elliott.

Figueiredo was supposed to fight Garbrandt for the flyweight title in 2020 but a torn bicep forced Garbrandt out of the bout. While up a weight class with no title on the line, there is still plenty at stake here.

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Michael is a big MMA fan who enjoys interviewing the sport's athletes, writing about the sport, and just discussing it. He earned his Master's in Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and his B.A. in Journalism at Stony Brook University. He also enjoys hockey, football and baseball. Feel free to hit him up if you want to discuss MMA, or any other sport!

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