UFC 300 full card and live updates: Start-time, streaming, Pereira vs ...

13 Apr 2024

UFC is marking its 300th pay-per-view card with a bevy of current and former champions, headlined by fights for two championship belts.

UFC 300 - Figure 1
Photo The Athletic

Oskar Garcia and Mark Puleo

April 12, 2024 at 8:51 PM EDT

(Photo: Jeff Bottari / Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

UFC 300 arrives with champions up and down the card

There are fighters up and down the 300th pay-per-view card for the Ultimate Fighting Championship who remind fans of the ruthless and often twist-filled reality of mixed martial arts.

In the 13 bouts for UFC 300, there are 12 competitors who have held a UFC belt at some point in their careers, which is a great selling point to hawk a pay-per-view (for $79.99 in the United States with an ESPN+ subscription) and also a timely indication of how tough it is to win a championship and to squeeze it for all the stardom it can bring.

Alex Pereira, the defending light heavyweight champion, worked his way to headline status in a heavier division after setting himself up as a foil to Israel Adesanya, one of the sport's biggest stars. Zhang Weili had to recover from dual losses in 2021 to solidify her as the sport's most prominent fighter from China, and now faces Yan Xiaonan's bid for her belt and bragging rights in their home country.

Justin Gaethje and Max Holloway became fits for the BMF belt — the affectionately (and profanely) titled informal strap that seems to be mostly an excuse to give fan favorites five rounds to entertain instead of three — by building reputations for action-packed striking (and very little defense).

UFC 300 - Figure 2
Photo The Athletic

Even the first fight on the card — not the pay-per-view, the earliest preliminary card — features the former flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo moving to bantamweight for Cody Garbrandt, the former champion there who has been trying for years to get his career rolling again.

Here's a look at the full card for UFC 300:

Main card (10 p.m. ET, ESPN+ PPV)Alex Pereira (9-2-0) vs. Jamahal Hill (12-1-0), men's light heavyweight championship, five roundsZhang Weili (24-3-0) vs. Yan Xiaonan, women's strawweight championship, five roundsJustin Gaethje (26-4-0) vs. Max Holloway (25-7-0), BMF belt, men's lightweight, five roundsCharles Oliveira (34-9-0) vs. Arman Tsarukyan (21-3-0), men's lightweight, three rounds Bo Nickal (5-0-0) vs. Cody Brundage (10-5-0), men's middleweight, three roundsPrelims (8 p.m. ET, ESPN and ESPN+)Jiri Prochazka (29-4-1) vs. Aleksandar Rakic (14-3-0), men's light heavyweight, three roundsCalvin Kattar (23-7-0) vs. Aljamain Sterling (23-4-0), men's featherweight, three roundsHolly Holm (15-6-0) vs. Kayla Harrison (16-1-0), women's bantamweight, three roundsSodiq Yusuff (13-3-0) vs. Diego Lopes (23-6-0), men's featherweight, three roundsEarly Prelims (ESPN+) Jalin Turner (14-7-0) vs. Renato Moicano (18-5-1), men's lightweight, three roundsJessica Andrade (25-12-0) vs. Marina Rodriguez (17-3-2), women's strawweight, three roundsBobby Green (31-15-1) vs. Jim Miller (37-17-0), men's lightweight, three roundsDeiveson Figueiredo (22-3-1) vs. Cody Garbrandt (14-5-0), men's bantamweight, three rounds

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UFC 300 guide: Holloway promises ‘violence,’ Pereira dishes on Adesanya trilogy

Pereira incorporates Indigenous headdress into weigh-in appearance

Alex Pereira has long displayed elements of his roots with the Reserva Pataxó Porto do Boi as part of his UFC appearances, and entered the ceremonial weigh-in tonight with face paint and an ornate headdress.

Pereira, who was born in São Paulo, Brazil, and uses the nickname "Poatan" because it is an indigenous name, visited the Pataxó tribe last year with his light heavyweight belt.

Speaking in Portuguese during the weigh-in, he called the chance to fight Jamahal Hill during the headline bout "a huge opportunity."

Hill was emotional during his appearance, saying amid boos from the crowd that he relished a chance to come back after having to relinquish his belt because of injury. "I’m coming to leave it all in there. I’m just glad to be back," he said.

Zhang Weili, Yan Xiaonan appeal to English-speaking fans directly

(Photo: Jeff Bottari / Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

There's enough on the line for Zhang Weili and Yan Xiaonan in the octagon in their championship fight at 115 pounds that they needn't worry about answering questions directly in English.

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Photo The Athletic

But the Chinese fighters used the important platform of their ceremonial weigh-ins to appeal directly to the largely English speaking crowd in Las Vegas, forgoing the interpreters by their sides as they briefly answered questions from the commentator Joe Rogan.

“Do my best,” Zhang said when asked what she needs to accomplish on Saturday. She added a nod to announcer Bruce Buffer's line for champions who keep their belt: "Tomorrow: 'And still.'"

Yan similarly welcomed the crowd: “Hello everyone, I am so excited.”

Justin Gaethje wants another (real) title run

Justin Gaethje takes pride in his BMF belt, which the UFC created as a nod to entertaining fighters who don't really need a championship on the line to be a big draw.

But Gaethje also knows that Max Holloway is his ticket back into contention at 155 pounds.

“This is everything, without a win I don’t get that shot,” Gaethje said.

Holloway seems to be much more into the fun of their bout. “Just violence baby, let’s get it," he said.

Kayla Harrison looks much happier several hours after weighing in

(Photo: Jeff Bottari / Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Weight cuts are one of the most brutal realities of mixed martial arts, and few fighters might be feeling that on this UFC card as much as Kayla Harrison.

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Photo The Athletic

Harrison is making her UFC debut after fighting for years at 155 pounds in the PFL. Before joining mixed martial arts, she was an Olympic judoka who won gold medals in 2012 and 2016 while fighting at about 170 pounds.

But the UFC's heaviest weight class for women while still deep enough to offer consistent competition has been 135 pounds. And Harrison weighed in at 136 on Friday.

That much of a cut can be brutal on a fighter's body, depending on how he or she loses the weight and cuts the final pounds at the end, with the intention of rehydrating closer to the fight.

That's why it's no small thing to see her smiling big for fans during the ceremonial weigh-ins after looking much less happy this morning.

We'll see how she handles the effects of her training against Holly Holm on Saturday night.

Ceremonial weigh-ins begin

The ceremonial weigh-ins are beginning now from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. At the real weigh-ins earlier Friday, all the competitors made weight, meaning that all 13 bouts on the card are official.

That makes the ceremony much more about the fun and the pomp and circumstance, with the UFC 300 fighters pumping up the crowd.

We'll be following along to see if the fighters say anything notable.

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Photo The Athletic
Max Holloway could face choices after Gaethje bout

Max Holloway’s world-class boxing skills have made for some of the most entertaining bouts in UFC history.

He’s landed an unfathomable 3,197 significant strikes in the promotion, over 1,000 more than any other fighter, according to the UFC record books. But he’s also absorbed the most significant strikes, according to data from MMA On Point, and has never been knocked out in his 32-fight career.

Holloway certainly has unfinished business in the UFC's featherweight division, having lost three title fights to Alexander Volkanovski. If he can take Justin Gaethje’s BMF belt, would he stick around at lightweight, or would he return to featherweight, where Ilia Topuria now reigns after knocking out Volkanovski at UFC 298?

“First things first is Gaethje, I’ve got to stay focused on him," Holloway told The Athletic. "But if I had it my way, a lot of people think Topuria is unstoppable, I’m hearing they want to go Spain (for the Volkanovski-Topuria rematch) … So I don’t know if they do the Alex rematch first later on this year and then maybe early next year do Spain. Maybe I’d be available. We’ll see what happens, I don’t know. Gaethje’s a handful. Topuria is a fun one."


UFC 300 guide: Holloway promises ‘violence,’ Pereira dishes on Adesanya trilogy

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