UFC 300

UFC 300: Prelim Predictions

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The countdown is complete… The iconic UFC 300 is now just days away. Many have labeled this as the greatest card of all time, from top to bottom. It’s clear that Dana White and the promotion are looking to stack the deck as much as possible for the big show.

UFC 300 features a plethora of talent, including champions, former champions, and fan favorites, from the early prelims all the way up to the main card. The main card will garner a lot of attention but the prelim fights shouldn’t be ignored. Check out our team’s thoughts on how the prelim fights will play out:

Light Heavyweight Bout

Jiří Procházka (2) vs. Aleksandar Rakić (5)

Lee: This is an interesting fight…. Both are coming off losses and both could very well be the current light heavyweight champ. Procházka brings an unusual orthodox fighting stance coupled with an 80-inch reach and 55% striking accuracy. Rakić brings a 50% striking accuracy to the table while landing approximately 4.01 significant strikes per minute. Which fighter will try to take this fight to the mat?

Official Prediction: Jiří Procházka via Unanimous Decision

Mishal: With a win here, either present an argument to be next in line against the winner of the main event. Procházka brings unpredictable chaos, Rakić a much more calculated, controlled approach to fights. That’s what will define who wins this fight for me, control or chaos. Procházka will look to have success by closing the distance and blitzing in, while Rakić will need range to find success through using weapons like his superb jab. As close as it is, I don’t see Rakić taming the carnage Procházka brings with him to the cage.

Official Prediction: Jiří Procházka via Decision

Anik: Aleksandar Rakić’s style has proven to be the most boring yet effective in the light heavyweight division. He spams leg kicks, keeps the distance, hits his opponent, and doesn’t get hit. Across the ring is the wildest, and one of the most powerful light heavyweights in Jiří Procházka who often abandons the game plan, takes shots, and bangs. Unless Prochazka lands a knockout blow, I believe Rakić will utilize his range and piece him apart with the jab and leg kick.

Official Prediction: Aleksandar Rakić via Unanimous Decision

Featherweight Bout

Calvin Kattar (8) vs. Aljamain Sterling

Lee: Former UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling is making his debut in the featherweight division against the hard hitting Calvin Kattar. Sterling coming off a KO loss to Sean O’Malley has said his body is more built to fight at 145. Kattar, known for his grit and heart is on a mission to rebound from a series of competitive fights and looks to climb the featherweight rankings again. Will Kattar takedown defense be on point and can Sterling handle the punching power of Kattar?

Official Prediction: Aljamain Sterling via 2nd Round Submission

Mishal: This is a difficult fight for both men. Aljamain’s goal is pressure and lots of it. Similar to Holloway back in the day, putting Kattar on the back foot isn’t just his weakness, but what Aljamain is fairly good at doing. Kattar, however, is no slouch when it comes to takedown defense and will have an edge in the standup with his superior boxing. But, Aljamain’s awkward style could present a bunch of problems that present him with the openings he needs to get it close to the mat. It’s a fight that could go either way, yet I find myself liking the divisional newcomers’ chances.

Official Prediction: Aljamian Sterling via Decision

Anik: It’s time for featherweight funk! Sterling overcame some brutal strikers en route becoming a 3-time defending bantamweight champion. Across the ring is a dangerous Calvin Kattar who is known for his grueling striking, but is coming off a long layoff following a horrific injury. Kattar will have to worry about defending the takedown, and because of that, he cannot go all out in his striking. I believe Sterling maximizes the grappler side of this matchup of opposites, and inserts himself into the featherweight title picture.

Official Prediction: Aljamain Sterling via Unanimous Decision 

Bantamweight Bout

Holly Holm (5) vs. Kayla Harrison

Lee: Welcome to the UFC, Kayla Harrison! Harrison has an elite judo background, but fighting at 135 will be the key factor in this fight. Holly Holm became a household name when she beat Ronda Rousey who also had a judo background. Will Harrison be able to maintain her strength after cutting weight? Holm’s hand speed, foot speed and constant movement could present a problem.

Official Prediction: Holly Holm via Split Decision

Mishal: Kayla Harrison is a welcome addition to a slightly stale bantamweight division. Despite virtually everyone’s concerns with Harrison’s impending weight-cut, on paper she presents an imposing challenge for the former women’s bantamweight champion. Harrison has always felt like a superior Ronda Rousey to me. Better judo, better striking, is stronger in the clinch and has poor IQ when fighting from distance. Assuming Harrison gets this to the ground, which I think she will at some stage, she’ll be a bit too much to handle depending on which Holly Holm shows up.

Official Prediction: Kayla Harrison via 2nd Round Submission

Anik: One fighter is in her prime and one is at the end of her career. Kayla Harrison’s takedown game is stellar, and I believe she will use her size advantage on Holly Holm. Holm has hardly any finishes in the last 10 years, and will have to face the threat of the takedown. As long as her weight cut goes smooth, Harrison by mauling.

Official Prediction: Kayla Harrison via Unanimous Decision

Featherweight Bout

Sodiq Yusuff (13) vs. Diego Lopes

Lee: This one is a battle between two top-15 ranked fighters. Yusuff is an aggressive striker with a 49% accuracy rate coupled with 62% takedown defense. Lopes is less active with his striking. But, he’s more accurate with it at 53%. The winner will get bigger fights down the road.

Official Prediction: Sodiq Yusuff via Split Decision

Mishal: This is a potential Fight of the Night on a card filled with them. Sodiq Yusuff is coming off a loss to Edson Barboza in an underrated gem, yet he might be overlooked here. Diego Lopes, however, is on fire, with a hype train behind him that few others outside the Top 5 of his division possess. If Yusuff finds a way to keep this standing, he can make this fight his own. Lopes’ overwhelming grappling style and ground game though, could walk Yusuff into a world of trouble. Maybe I’ve gotten captured by the hype train behind this surging Mexican contender. Either way, we could be in for a wild one…

Official Prediction: Diego Lopes via 2nd Round Submission

Anik: Diego Lopes and Sodiq Yusuff are both down to bang. But, Lopes has the clear advantage on the ground. In terms of power, he also has the advantage. Yusuff will need to start fast as this is a three-rounder. However, he could be gun shy coming off a devastating loss to Edson Barboza.

Official Prediction: Diego Lopes via 2nd Round KO

Quick Early Prelim Predictions: 

  • Jalin Turner (10) beats Renato Moicano (13) via 1st Round KO/TKO
  • Marina Rodriguez (6) beats Jessica Andrade (4) via 3rd Round Submission
  • Bobby Green (14) beats Jim Miller via 2nd Round KO/TKO
  • Deiveson Figueiredo (8) beats Cody Garbrandt via 3rd Round KO/TKO

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