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UFC 300 has a stacked fight card for landmark pay-per-view event

By Jack Levy, Staff Writer

The UFC will be holding its landmark 300th pay-per-view event this Saturday. UFC 300 will host two championship bouts to finish a stacked fight card.

Early prelims start at 6 p.m. and include eight fights with some big names that make for an exciting buildup to a historic main card.

“I’ve been a fan of the UFC for years but I’m rarely as excited for prelims as I am for this event,” senior Gus Ciaccio said. 

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The first fight of the night will be between former champions Cody Garbrandt and Deiveson Figueiredo.

Jalin Turner, whose fights have been consistently entertaining, will be taking on Renato Moicano. While Turner is not undefeated, he has finished every fight he’s won. 

Additionally, featherweight Calvin Kattar is making his return to the UFC. Kattar suffered an injury during a loss in 2022 and is looking to make a strong comeback. He will face off against Long Island native and former bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling, who is making his debut at featherweight.

The last prelim fight will be between the second-ranked light heavyweight Jiří Procházka and the fifth-ranked Aleksandar Rakić.

The first fight on the main card will be between Bo Nickal and Cody Brundage. Nickal is undefeated at 5-0 with five first-round finishes and an average fight time of only 1:22. Brundage has a record of 10-5 and is coming off a two-fight win streak but will have his hands full with Nickal who is heavily favored to win this bout.

“I think Bo Nickal could be one of the big names in the future of the UFC,” junior finance major Jake Shaw said. “He’s been exciting to watch and I’m excited to see if he can keep fighting at such a high level as he begins to fight higher-ranked opponents.”

Following Nickal v. Brundage will be a fight between lightweights Charles Oliveira and Arman Tsarukyan. While Oliveira is the top-ranked lightweight and one of the most experienced fighters in the UFC, he is still the underdog against the surging and fourth-ranked Arman Tsarukyan. However, both fighters are known for their high-octane fighting styles that usually end with finishes instead of scorecards. 

“I think this fight will be closer than the odds put it,” Shaw said, “Oliveira was on a long win streak before he lost to Islam Machachev. I don’t see him as the underdog against Tsarukyan.”

The third fight in the main card has two of the best-known fighters in the UFC, Justin Gaethje and Max Holloway facing off in a lightweight bout. Gaethje is one of the hardest punchers in UFC history for his weight class and 20 of his 24 wins have come by knockout. He will be putting his “BMF” belt on the line in this bout. Former Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov said Gaethje “hits like a truck.” Holloway is also one of the most respected fighters in the UFC. Holloway’s debut was almost 14 years ago and he has been consistent his entire career. Both fighters will likely look to stand and bang.

“Gaethje has a real advantage over other stand-up fighters like Holloway,” Ciaccio said. “Gaethje just hits so hard. In a stand-up fight, I’d put my money on Gaethje every time.” 

The fourth main card event will be for the Women’s Strawweight title. Champion Zhang Weili will face off against the number one contender Yan Xiaonan and will mark the first time in UFC history that two Chinese fighters will face off for a title. Weili is a versatile fighter with an impressive record of 24-3 including 11 knockouts, eight submissions and 11 first-round finishes. Xianon is more of a standup fighter and will have a tough match ahead of her against the extremely versatile champion.

The man event features a light heavyweight championship bout between champion Alex Pereira and number one contender Jamahal Hill. Both fighters are unbeaten in the light heavyweight division. Hill previously won the vacant title in 2023 but had to give it up after an injury. Pereira will be looking to secure his first title defense in a division that has seen five champions and only one successful title defense in the past four years. Hill, who is on a four-fight win streak, will look to retake the title from Pereira in his first fight back from injury.

“The card for UFC 300 is stacked with big-time fighters,” Shaw said. “The UFC has gotten really good at putting together events that don’t rely on the hype of one fighter to draw an audience. The entire roster has gotten so good that most fans are excited for almost every fight.”

UFC president Dana White expressed the importance of making this event special. 

“Headlining UFC 300 with all of the buzz and all the energy around it .. We’ve been talking about 300 forever. We were just trying to make the best fights we could make,” White said.

UFC 300 is set to be an electric night of exciting fights. The landmark event is also a testament to the UFC’s success in the world of combat sports.

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