UFC 300 is the most stacked event EVER… Outside top three fights, FIVE ex-champions are in action and rising star Bo Nickal has his biggest stage yet, while Jim Miller will claim historic hat-trick

UFC 300 is a major milestone in MMA history and the card has been stacked to the brim with quality.

There are three belts on the line to close out the show on Saturday night in Las Vegas. The BMF title between Max Holloway and Justin Gaethje comes before an all-Chinese strawweight showdown and then Jamahal Hill vs Alex Pereira take centre stage in a light-heavyweight title fight.

But the appetisers are arguably just as tasty as the main course. Fighters who would usually take pride of place on a main card are down in the pre-lims and there are some brilliant match-ups to enjoy.

While many fans have been disappointed with the lack of out and out star quality at the top of the event, with no Conor McGregor or Israel Adesanya, the depth of the card is indisputable.

Here, Mail Sport takes a closer look at the other fights well worth paying attention to.

Alex Pereira will put his light-heavyweight title on the line at UFC 300 in Las Vegas

Alex Pereira will put his light-heavyweight title on the line at UFC 300 in Las Vegas

Jamahal Hill (right) takes on  Pereira (left) in the main event of UFC 300 on Saturday night but the rest of the card is stacked full of brilliant match-ups too

Jamahal Hill (right) takes on  Pereira (left) in the main event of UFC 300 on Saturday night but the rest of the card is stacked full of brilliant match-ups too

Deiveson Figueiredo vs Cody Garbrandt

What a ridiculous curtain-raiser this is. A contest of enough quality to headline most Fight Night cards, this bantamweight battle should kick off the evening in style.

Ex-flyweight champion Figueiredo is moving up a division to bantamweight and faces popular KO artist Garbrandt.

The American still possesses the incredible hand speed that made him flyweight champion, before his infamously weak chin was then exposed on multiple occasions.

Deiveson Figueiredo (left) pictured in his fight with Rob Font, returns to action this weekend

Deiveson Figueiredo (left) pictured in his fight with Rob Font, returns to action this weekend

He’s back on an even keel now having secured back-to-back wins and looks to have restored some confidence.

The war of words is heating up too, with Figueiredo telling Trocacao Franca: ‘We see he’s mentally fragile, he doesn’t have a good head.

‘We see he hasn’t come back after a few losses right? You have to be a badass you need a strong mind to come back again. I think I’ll affect his mind by touching him.’

Garbrandt replied to MMA Junkie: ‘I’ve been there when you’re mentally weak and you don’t believe in yourself you have to speak more and try to get into your opponent’s head, I’ve been that person.

‘He’s missed weight (before). Right there, that’s being a p**** that’s the biggest mentally weak block you could ever do, you have to make weight, you don’t make weight meaning you quit on yourself.’

Cody Garbrandt has bounced back to winning ways and regained his old confidence

Cody Garbrandt has bounced back to winning ways and regained his old confidence

Jim Miller vs Bobby Green

Jim Miller and UFC 300 – it had to be done.

Miller fought at UFC 100 in 2009 and UFC 200 in 2016 and is going to bring up the triple century, barring any last minute hitches.

He is rightly concerned that there might be a snag, given that he’s been matched up with Bobby Green three times before, only for his American compatriot to pull out for various reasons.

Fourth time should be the charm and Miller told MMA Today: ‘The reason I’m Jim ‘F***ing’ Miller is because I don’t say no.

‘I kind of screw myself sometimes, but yeah, that’s the way it is. They offered the fight, and I’m going to take it.’

Jim Miller pictured facing Mac Danzig back at UFC 100 on July 11, 2009

Jim Miller pictured facing Mac Danzig back at UFC 100 on July 11, 2009

The 40-year-old is still going remarkably well, winning five of his last six outings.

He has more wins (26) than any other fighter in UFC history, the most bouts (43) in UFC history and the second most finishes (18) behind Charles Oliveira.

Though he hasn’t come close to challenging for a title, Miller is part of the furniture and it is fitting he has been given the chance to shine again on the historic card.

Green is a slick operator in his own right and stylistically, it should be a striking battle to entertain the fans, certainly not to be missed.

Miller is seen taking down Takanori Gomi at the UFC 200 event at T-Mobile Arena, 2016

Miller is seen taking down Takanori Gomi at the UFC 200 event at T-Mobile Arena, 2016

Holly Holm vs Kayla Harrison

Not a bad spot to make your UFC debut. Harrison has long been one of the big names in women’s MMA but only signed for the premier promotion this year.

The women’s bantamweight clash takes place on the pre-lims and pits Harrison, who is a two-time Olympic gold medal winner in judo and won the PFL bantamweight title, against veteran ex-champion Holly Holm.

Harrison’s impressive record of 16-1 features both knockouts (six) and submissions (six) so she is a well-rounded threat but has not faced the level of opposition of offer in the UFC.

Holm, meanwhile, is No 5 in the bantamweight rankings but at 42 may have her best years behind her and is still best known for the stunning upset KO of Ronda Rousey.

Harrison is one of the bigger betting favourites on the card so it will be interesting to see if she can back that up and stake her claim for a title shot with an impressive debut in front of a huge captive audience.

Holly Holm (right) kicks Mayra Bueno Silva in the head in their 2023 contest

Holly Holm (right) kicks Mayra Bueno Silva in the head in their 2023 contest

Kayla Harrison, former PFL champion, is set for her UFC debut against Holm

Kayla Harrison, former PFL champion, is set for her UFC debut against Holm

Calvin Kattar vs Aljamain Sterling

There has been fascination surrounding Aljamain Sterling’s potential move to featherweight for some time.

His reign as the bantamweight champion was cut short last year by Sean O’Malley and with a continued refusal to face team-mate Merab Dvalishvili, it is now the logical time to take the next step.

Sterling remains an underrated fighter with an awkward style to combat and elite skills on the ground.

In Kattar, he has not been given a lay-up for his first entry into the 145-lbs field.

Kattar is a brilliant boxer but is coming off ACL surgery after tearing ligaments back in 2022.

Calvin Kattar is coming back from an ACL injury and takes on Aljamain Sterling

Calvin Kattar is coming back from an ACL injury and takes on Aljamain Sterling

Sterling is jumping up to featherweight having lost his bantamweight belt to Sean O'Malley

Sterling is jumping up to featherweight having lost his bantamweight belt to Sean O’Malley

‘A lot of people would say ‘oh a year and a half, you must have some ring rust,’ he said on the MMA Hour.

”You put too much stock in that Aljo?’. Who gives a s***? People say a lot of s***. What’s going to matter is on fight night and it can go one of two ways.

‘I’m going to do everything in my power to make it look like it did last August [for Sterling]. I’m prepared for a hell of a fight and I would love an early finish but I’m prepared for anything that presents itself on Saturday.’

Jiri Prochazka vs Alekandar Rakic

This is the No 2-ranked light-heavyweight in Prochazka against the man sitting three slots below him.

It is the featured pre-lim on Saturday and could well be front-runner for Fight of the Night honours.

Prochazka is never in a boring contest and is coming off the back of a KO defeat by Pereira in his last encounter, having fared well for much of the contest as long as it lasted.

The former champion has an unorthodox style to go with his personality, striking with his hands down and presenting a puzzle to opponents.

Aleksandar Rakic suffered an ACL injury in his fight against Jan Blachowicz in 2022

Aleksandar Rakic suffered an ACL injury in his fight against Jan Blachowicz in 2022

Jiri Prochazka (right) suffered defeat in his last outing against Pereira (left)

Jiri Prochazka (right) suffered defeat in his last outing against Pereira (left)

He has his work cut out against Rakic but the big unknown is how he will perform having ruptured his ACL against Jan Blachowicz almost two years ago.

That he is a slight betting favourite it testament to his quality and it looks to be a tough one to call. Prochazka’s wild striking always makes him a must-watch, while Rakic also boasts huge power.

The Austrian 32-year-old could put himself in line for the next title shot if he deals emphatically with his Czech opponent and the winner will no doubt watch the main event with plenty of interest.

Bo Nickal vs Cody Brundage

Nickal has been earmarked for stardom from the start of his journey in the UFC and the former wrestling superstar has backed that assessment up at every turn so far.

He’s again been given a spot with plenty of limelight to build his popularity and show fans what he’s capable of.

That Nickal is lining up on the main card just five fights into his pro career speaks volumes about how highly his paymasters rate him.

He’s finished all five of those contests with first-round finishes and certainly looks the real deal at middleweight.

Bo Nickal is seen as a huge rising star and takes his place on the main card at UFC 300

Bo Nickal is seen as a huge rising star and takes his place on the main card at UFC 300

The American has impressed with his striking in addition to incredible wrestling pedigree

The American has impressed with his striking in addition to incredible wrestling pedigree

The big surprise is how effective the American has looked on his feet given his relative lack of experience in comparison to his elite wrestling.

On Saturday night, Brundage will have his work cut out and is the biggest underdog at UFC 300.

He could have his Buster Douglas moment and makes it three successive wins having dropped the three before that.

Most think Brundage is being used as fodder and being fed to the lions here so it would do wonders for his career and cause havoc with the UFC’s ambitions for Nickal if he could spring an upset in this one.

Charles Oliveira vs Arman Tsarukyan

Tsarukyan is predicting a ‘crazy fight’ in this lightweight main card showdown against former champion Oliveira.

Both want to throw their hat in the ring for a shot at Islam Makhachev’s belt, with Oliveira falling short against the champion previously.

The Armenian-Russian told the MMA Hour: ‘I don’t even know what he wants to do during the fight; same as him, he doesn’t know what I’m going to do, wrestle him or strike him.

‘If he’s going to miss punches, he’s going to wrestle. Me too, if I miss punches, I’m going to wrestle, so it’s going to be like a scramble fight.

‘So [I’m] excited to fight and everyone who knows MMA is going to watch this fight. We are both complete MMA fighters. But my prediction is a finish in the first round, TKO.’

Charles Oliveira defeated Beneil Dariush last year and wants to climb back to a title shot

Charles Oliveira defeated Beneil Dariush last year and wants to climb back to a title shot

It will be a huge test for Arman Tsarukyan, who has also beaten Dariush (background)

It will be a huge test for Arman Tsarukyan, who has also beaten Dariush (background)

That would certainly shake up the apple cart at 155-lbs and the 27-year-old is a coming force in the division.

He previously shared the cage with Makhachev in April 2019, losing a decision that was given Fight of the Night honours.

Both men have improved significantly since then and four of Tsarukyan’s last five wins have been by KO.

Oliveira’s rise was sensational until he ran into Makhachev so it will be fascinating to see which version of the Brazilian turns up on Saturday.

He’s still desperate for another shot at his former title and will feel he’s earned it if he can slap down the challenge of one of the division’s rising stars.

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