UFC 300: Pereira vs. Hill Picks & Predictions

Alex Pereira (C) vs. Jamahal Hill (1)

Pereira (9-2-0) is taking on Hill (12-1-0) for his first Light Heavyweight title defense. Both fighters love to stand and trade shots instead of wrestling. Hill always fights with a chip on his shoulder and Pereira is a world champion kickboxer as well. Which should lead this to be a great fight with an awesome finish.

Both fighters stand at 6″4 tall and have a 79″ inch arm reach. Pereira is 4 years older at 36 compared to Hill’s 32. Hill is also a south paw fighter where as Pereira tends to favor an orthodox stance. Pereira also boasts a 78% finish percentage vs. Hill’s 57% which is still plenty high.

For me this fight comes down to who is the better striker. It will be remain on the feet for the most part as I said above so I feel that whoever gets their striking going first will be the victor. It is very hard to bet against a former world kick-boxing world champion. So I will be taking Pereira by TKO/KO here. I think Hill will come out looking to swing and Pereira has just seen too many different striking patterns, opponents, etc. that he will figure Hill out and put him away.

Pick: Pereira (KO/TKO: 100%)

Weili Zhang (C) vs. Xiaonan Yan (1)

Zhang (24-3-0) will also be defending her title against Yan (17-3-0) in a battle of two Chinese fighters looking to make a statement in the straw weight division.

These two are almost identical physically, they are the same age, have a matching arm reach, and Yan is only 1″ inch taller. For this matchup, I just can’t help but go with Weili Zhang, she has finishes over Carla Esparza (19-7-0), Joanna Jędrzejczyk (16-5-0), and Jéssica Andrade (25-12-0). Yan on the other hand has lost to Esparza back in 2021 but does have her most recent win as a round 1 TKO/KO over Andrade.

The real question is what it is that Zhang wins by. She typically likes to switch it up and has 46% of her wins by TKO/KO and 33% by submission. Yan also has two losses by each, so she doesn’t seem to have a huge weakness either way. I am going to go with Zhang by submission, but I would just bet inside the distance.

Pick:  Zhang (Inside the Distance: 100%, TKO/KO: 40%, Submission: 60%)

Justin Gaethje (2) vs. Max Holloway (UNR – 155)

For the crowning of the BMF belt, Gaethje (25-4-0) will be taking on another amazing fighter in Max Holloway (25-7-0). Both of these guys come to fight every time and this should be a good one.

Holloway is of course coming up a weight class for this bought at 155 pounds. They are same height at 5″ 11′ inches and and Gaethje has a 1″ inch arm reach advantage. He is also 3 years older than his opponent. Both of these guys have fought the best of the best with their only losses being to Charles Oliveira (34-9-0), Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0-0), Dustin Poirier (30-8-0), Alexander Volkanovski (26-4-0), etc.

I think that this fight will play out like a more violent version of Holloway vs. Poirier. Gaethje has great power, durability, and has great striking cardio. That being said, he does not have great wrestling cardio. If Holloway tries to keep Justin on the fence and drain out his gas tank, he could use his own great cardio in the later rounds. The problem is, that just isn’t in Max’s nature, and who knows if his wrestling is even good enough to keep Gaethje at bay. I think Gaethje will probably take this one by stoppage in the later rounds. He is going to chop Holloway’s legs down and has shown he has the striking cardio to compete with the greats in that area.

Pick: Gaethje (KO/TKO: 70%, Decision: 30%)

Charles Oliveira (1) vs. Arman Tsarukyan (4)

Oliveira (34-9-0) is looking to keep his spot in the division against up and comer Tsarukyan (21-3-0).

Both guys are coming off of first round wins against Beneil Dariush (22-6-1). Oliveira is 3″ inches taller than Arman and has a 2.5″ inch reach advantage. He is also 7 years older than Tsarukyan, who is only 27 himself. To me, this is where this fight is decided, I believe that Oliveira is just too experienced right now to lose to Arman. His only loss in the last 7 years is to Islam Makhachev (25-1-0). Where as Arman has also only lost to him and Mateusz Gamrot (24-2-0) recently. Which is still super impressive, I think the version Charles fought is much better. Even in just a few year span.

Tsarukyan has great wrestling and loves to use it. He averages 3.40 to Oliveira’s 2.32 a round. The issue for me is that Oliveira also has a 62% submission rate and loves to fight off of his back. I am taking Oliveira by submission here.

Pick: Oliveira (Submission: 80%, Decision: 20%)

Bo Nickal (UNR) vs. Cody Brundage (UNR)

Wrestling great Bo Nickal (5-0-0) is looking to extend his win-streak against (10-5-0) Cody Brundage. This one should be a quick blowout.

Brundage in my opinion is an awful fighter who got a nice win against a fighter of the same caliber in his last outing. Before this, he was hit with an illegal shot by Jacob Malkoun (8-3-0) and faked a worse injury for a DQ win. Nickal is coming off of a 5 fight win streak, all by finish in the first round.

Basically, this comes down to how Nickal decides to end the fight. I have seen Brundage quit in the past and know he doesn’t like to get hit. I think he will try to wrestle with Bo immediately before getting taken down and submitted. He will try to give Nickal an arm or his neck all night before being finished. If Nickal is particularly nasty, he may opt to finish him via ground and pound. But I think he will take the easy sub for another first round finish.

Pick: Nickal (Submission: 80%, TKO/KO: 20%)