Alex Pereira, Jamahal Hill's Next Best Fights After UFC 300 Results

14 Apr 2024
Alex BallentineApril 14, 2024
Alex Pereira, Jamahal Hill's Next Best Fights After UFC 300 Results

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UFC 300 - Figure 1
Photo Bleacher Report

UFC light heavyweight champion Alex PereiraChris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

UFC 300 is in the books and Alex Pereira emerged as one of the biggest winners of the historic event. His first-round TKO win over Jamahal Hill closed out the show and was only the second successful defense of the belt since Jon Jones vacated it in 2020.

The win not only cements his legacy as a two-division champion, but it also sets him up for more big blockbuster fights moving forward. His original claim to fame was being Israel Adesanya's nemesis, but his legacy has moved beyond The Last Stylebender at this point.

As for Hill, this is a setback, but it isn't the last we'll see of him. Coming back from a ruptured Achilles tendon to reclaim the light heavyweight title was a big ask. He'll need a bit of a reset in his next bout. But there's more to come from the 32-year-old.

With this result in mind, let's take a look at the next best fight for each UFC 300 main eventer.

UFC 300 - Figure 2
Photo Bleacher Report
Pereira: Magomed Ankalaev

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Magomed AnkalaevChris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The light heavyweight division has seen a lot of turnover for multiple reasons. One has been injuries, but another is the top of the division has a bit of a logjam of fighters who are on a similar tier.

Magomed Ankalaev could be the next to break out of that tier to take over the division. He hasn't lost a fight since 2018 when he dropped his UFC debut to Paul Craig. He ripped off nine consecutive wins after that to earn a title shot against Jan Blachowicz.

Admittedly, he didn't put his best foot forward in that fight. The bout was declared a split draw and the belt remained vacant despite an overwhelming majority of media scorecards declaring Ankalaev the winner.

An Ankalaev-Pereira bout not only would make the most sense, but it would be a fun matchup. Pereira's calculated approach and one-strike knockout power would stand opposed to Ankalaev's aggressive, well-rounded game.

UFC 300 - Figure 3
Photo Bleacher Report

Ankalaev would test Pereira's striking and takedown defense while the champion would be the most powerful striker Ankalaev has seen yet.

Timing is the only question. Pereira told Tom Taylor of Bleacher Report that he has interest in fighting at UFC 301 on May 4 which would be a short-notice fight at this point.

Hill: Aleksandar Rakić

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Aleksandar RakicChris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Hill wasn't the only light heavyweight to come away with disappointment from UFC 300. The stacked card featured an important 205-pound title eliminator between Jiří Procházka and Aleksandar Rakić with Procházka coming away with a second-round TKO win.

The victory puts Procházka on a shortlist of upcoming title contenders, but it sends Rakić back down the pecking order.

Coming off of his major injury and a loss at UFC 300, Hill needs an opportunity to get back on track against a step back in competition. After watching Rakić get knocked out by Procházka, it would appear to be the right matchup for Hill.

By the same token, Rakić is running out of opportunities to prove he belongs in the top tier of the division. he has wins over Thiago Santos and Anthony Smith but he's now lost back-to-back fights against Jan Blachowicz and Procházka.

Blachowicz could be another consideration. The 41-year-old hasn't fought since his split decision loss to Pereira and the winner would have be taking a strong step toward a rematch.

However, the matchup with Rakić gets the nod because it's a smarter way to give Hill an on-ramp to building himself back up as a legitimate contender.

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