On April 13, fight fans around the world will tune in to watch the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) biggest event to date. UFC 300 has finally arrived, and the fight card is loaded with exciting matchups. While UFC 300 won’t feature a legendary Conor McGregor return or a trilogy bout between Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya, the UFC’s matchmakers still found a way to put three title fights on one night, albeit one of them is the BaddestMotherF***** (BMF) title.

With that out of the way, let’s jump right into the predictions. Every bout will not be predicted every single fight, but just the bouts which are the most intriguing and have sparked the most debate amongst the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) community.

Featherweight Bout: (#8) Calvin Kattar vs. (#2 BW) Aljamain Sterling

Following an underwhelming title reign at Bantamweight (BW), Aljo did little to convince the matchmakers to give him a rematch against Sean O’Malley. With his opportunities at BW all gone, Aljo is making the step up to Featherweight (FTW) for the first time in his UFC career. While there were rumors of him fighting Max Holloway in a contender’s match, Sterling will be disappointed with his upcoming opponent.

Calvin Kattar is no doubt an exciting fighter, but he is nowhere close to a title shot. Kattar is coming off two consecutive losses and hasn’t fought in almost 18 months due to an ACL tear. He’ll need to shake off some serious ring rust and brush up on his grappling before facing off against the former BW champion. Losing a third straight bout could do serious damage to Kattar’s career.

Aljo will have learned his lesson after the O’Malley fight. Concerns about the jump in weight class also are overblown with Aljo. Sterling will look to assert his dominance on the ground and wear down his older and less hydrated opponent. It won’t be pretty, but it will sure be effective.

Verdict: Sterling by Unanimous Decision

Light Heavyweight Bout: (#2) Jiří Procházka vs. (#5) Aleksandar Rakić

Procházka and Rakić each find themselves in similar positions. Both coming off serious injuries, either fighter could propel themselves into the title shot with a statement performance on Saturday. With both fighters also coming off losses, both fighters must win at any cost.

Procházka will look to use his unorthodox fighting style and knockout power to throw Rakic off his game. His funky, wild methods earned him highlight knockouts against Volkan Oezdemir and Dominick Reyes, but it cost him in his last bout against the refined striking of Alex Periera. The former champ is heavy-footed at times, and it will cost him again against Aleksandar Rakić.

Similar to Pereira, Rakić has a deep arsenal of kicks he can use against Jirí. Procházka tends to put a lot of weight on his lead leg, and Rakić will look to eat it up. Despite coming off an ACL tear, Rakić was wise to wait almost two years for this fight. He’s got a great chance to propel himself into a title bout against the winner of Saturday’s main event.

Verdict: Rakić by 3rd Round TKO

Lightweight Bout: (#1) Charles Oliveira vs. (#4) Arman Tsarukyan

Both Oliveira and Tsarukyan are each coming off first-round finishes against fan-favorite Beneil Dariush. While both are known for their ability on the ground, they each show that they can pack a punch. With a combined 16 Performance of the Night Awards between the two athletes, you’re not going to want to miss this fight.

During his title reign, Do Bronx showed off his insane grappling skill and improved striking. In his recent fights, Oliveira has looked more comfortable on his feet and displayed serious power. He’s knocked out top contenders Michael Chandler and the aforementioned Beniel Dariush. When he’s rocked, he can rely on his grappling to get out of trouble.

However, in his title defense against Islam Makhachev, Makhachev used his wrestling background to overwhelm Oliveira’s bottom game. This can be an area where Tsarukyan can attack. He’s shown in his fights against Joel Álvarez and Joaquim Silva that he possesses a menacing top game. If he’s able to knock Do Bronx off his feet, Tsarukyan could end the fight very quickly.

This is also a three-round fight which benefits the less-experienced Tsarukyan. I’ve gone back and forth with this prediction. My heart keeps telling me to go with Oliveira, and it wouldn’t be shocking if he sneaked a submission win. However, Arman Tsarukyan appears ready to usher in a new era of young Lightweights.

Verdict: Tsarukyan by Unanimous Decision

BMF Title Bout (155 lbs): (C) Justin Gaethje vs. (#2 FTW) Max Holloway

It’s Max Holloway’s second time moving up to Lightweight in his UFC career. In his first Lightweight bout against Dustin Poirier, he was defeated decisively by the Diamond. Blessed was plagued by his lack of knockout power and never really looked to threaten Poirier.

More of the same is coming for Holloway against Gaethje. The Human Highlight has one of the strongest chins in the promotion and throws bombs, and Blessed isn’t the right type of fighter to be moving up in weight. Holloway’s ambition is commendable, but this fight just comes at the wrong time for him.

Verdict: Gaethje by Unanimous Decision

Main Event – Light Heavyweight Title Bout: (C) Alex Pereira vs. (#1) Jamahal Hill

Alex Pereira — courtesy of kungfufrogmma

Pereira’s adjustment to Light Heavyweight has been smooth like butter. In just two fights, he’s defeated two former champions and claimed the vacant UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. The title was vacant because of an Achilles injury Jamahal Hill suffered while playing basketball. Hill hasn’t fought since his emphatic win against Pereira’s coach, Glover Teixeira, over a year ago. 

Sweet Dreams ascended rapidly through the UFC rankings thanks to his incredible punching power. His knockouts of Jimmy Crute, Johnny Walker, and Thiago Santos are just a sample of what he is capable of. Despite not possessing a reach disadvantage, Hill is going to have to close the distance against Pereira. If he stays in kicking range, Poatan will dance around him and destroy his legs. Fortunately for Hill, he relishes the opportunity to apply the pressure. But if he’s too aggressive, he could get caught with a mean left hook from the champion.

Sweet Dreams needs to find the sweet spot when managing distance Pereira, but it just does not appear possible. He’ll need to shake up plenty of ring rust whereas Poatan has been extremely active since joining the UFC. Pereira has more roads to victory and his refined striking and experience (MMA and Kickboxing) will make the difference.

Verdict: Pereira by 5th round TKO