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By Matt ten-Hoeve on 2/20/2024 4:08 PM

Alright, fight fans - the UFC 300 main event has been announced! After months of speculation, rumors, and crazy ideas, our main event for the upcoming, historical event that will take place on April 13th in Las Vegas is none other than…Alex Pereira vs. Jamahal Hill for the Light Heavyweight Championship! For Jamahal Hill, this will be his first fight since January of 2023, where he won the Light Heavyweight Championship, by decision, from Glover Teixeira. Of course, Hill decided to vacate the title after getting injured, allowing for Alex Pereira to fight for it later in the year. It will be Pereira’s first defense of the title since winning it in November after knocking out Jiri Prochazka.

It’s a championship fight that pits the former champion (who vacated the title and didn’t lose it) against a scary champion who is going to attempt to do something he couldn’t do in the Middleweight division - successfully defend the championship. There’s a story. Both fighters have something to prove. This is exciting, right?

Well, when Dana White made the fight announcement late Saturday night after the UFC 298 event, most fight fans rolled their eyes or exhaled in frustration. This is what we waited for all these months? Dana White had been promising big things. Big names were claiming that they were in talks with the UFC for a fight. The rumor mill went wild with ideas and theories. Therefore, a fight that is truly rock solid is not getting the positive publicity that it would normally get on most other fight cards. Let’s examine UFC 300 and the feelings surrounding it a bit more, though. While I understand the mixed feelings towards the main event, I think some things are getting lost in the shuffle of outrage.

The first thing that we have to understand is that it would be very hard for a fight to live up to the expectations of being UFC 300’s main event. We would probably have to use a time machine to get some guys unretired and back in their prime in order to have a fight that would make people, especially fight fans, legitimately happy. With Dana White hyping up the event for months and months, the UFC did not do themselves many favors and truly painted themselves into a corner with the amount of time fight fans had to wait for this announcement. Fans were expecting something earth-shattering. When they got just a really cool announcement, though, it wasn’t good enough because of the super high expectations.

It certainly doesn’t help when some of MMA's biggest names have so much uncertainty surrounding them. Conor McGregor continues to hint at making his return, only to have it delayed over and over again. Poor Michael Chandler, his assumed next opponent, is just waiting on the sidelines or appearing on WWE programming to call Conor out. Speaking of WWE, people were throwing out names like Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey. Although Dana White shot down those rumors, very few take his word on things when it comes to speculation that catches steam in the media. Jon Jones said he was contacted about fighting on the card, but he will not be ready and fully recovered from his injury. What about all those fun, tough Russian fighters? April 13th is just after Ramadan this year, making it tough for those guys to fully recover from their fasting duties during that time period. There were even some rumors of Nate Diaz and/or Georges St. Pierre getting dusted off to return for a dog fight.

The closer we got to the date, though, the more it seemed that we would be getting a Leon Edwards vs. Belal Muhammad fight for the Welterweight Championship. Apparently, though, Belal Muhammad was never in the discussion. Leon Edwards accepted three different fights for the UFC 300 card, according to Dana White at the UFC 298 post fight press conference, and none of them were against Muhammad. So that tells us a few things - 1) the UFC was trying to focus on big names in these fights, 2) Leon Edwards is game for anything, and 3) the UFC does not see Belal Muhammad as a star.

So…does Alex Pereira vs. Jamahal Hill for the Light Heavyweight Championship fulfill the desire to have big names fight in a big moment? That is the big question.

Allow me to digress for a bit, as this situation tangentially reminds me of a few things that have happened in the professional wrestling world over the years. Although professional wrestling and MMA are two different beasts, the ideas behind them are somewhat similar. There are matches between two people that have a story. That story and those matches are made in order to sell a show. That show should be as strong as possible so that it is sold to as many fans as possible. Of course, there are many other factors that go into the booking of these shows, but fans tend to expect the best possible show when they decide to spend their money - especially for the “major” shows.

On May 10, 2008, Ring of Honor was set to debut at the Hammerstein Ballroom, which would allow the promotion to draw its biggest crowd up until that time. Now, this is a much smaller example in the professional wrestling world than UFC 300, but with this show, titled “A New Level,” ROH fans speculated for months over what the main event would be. Surely, ROH had to pull out all the stops for their biggest show ever, right? Former WWE names were being thrown around. Returning ROH names were discussed. Big names from Japan were advertised and, therefore, more were rumored. With the Hammerstein Ballroom being associated with ECW, names like Rob Van Dam and Sabu were being assumed. In the end, the promotion gave the fans none of those things. It was all just rumors and hope. They gave them Nigel McGuinness vs. Claudio Castagnoli, which would be a heck of a match. However, the fans were not thrilled. It wasn’t the major names. It didn’t pack enough star power. While Nigel and Claudio ended up having a really awesome match, a lot of the fans complained about the main event announcement for months after the event happened.

WrestleMania 31 left a lot of people scratching their heads with the announcement of one of their bigger matches. Admittedly, it didn't take place in the main event, but it was a major match. The match: Sting, in his first WWE match EVER, against…Triple H? Now, on paper, this match is interesting. It’s definitely a dream match and one of the many “What If…?” matches that people brought up had Sting ever made it to WWE. However, the main match that everyone clamored for was Sting vs. The Undertaker. For over 20 years, the one match that almost everyone could agree on wanting to see if it could ever happen was Sting vs. The Undertaker…and it could finally happen. Everything was in place. Both men were in the company. Both men were clear to wrestle. However, it wasn’t given to us. Sting vs. Triple H ended up being nostalgic fun, but Sting vs. The Undertaker didn’t happen and never will - leaving it as one of the biggest “What If?” questions in professional wrestling history.

More recently, The Rock returned to WWE - not only as a performer, but as a member of the Board of Directors. He immediately thrust himself into the WrestleMania Title picture, attempting to take the place of Cody Rhodes. Not only did this mean that Cody Rhodes would not get to “finish his story,” but the fans would not get the payoff at WrestleMania of the story that they have been invested in for a year and a half. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed, The Rock knew his role, and Cody is back on the path to finishing his story. However, it had to be met with much outrage and panic by the fans first.

To bring this back to UFC 300, I mention these other big moments because they happened with big, monumental shows. The great thing about big shows is that, when done well, they will be remembered forever. However, when they are not done well, they will still be remembered forever - just for the wrong things. The first Hammerstein Ballroom show for Ring of Honor doesn’t get as much talk and respect as it probably should get. The Sting vs. Triple H match will always have that “yeah, but…” attached to it. Luckily, it looks like WWE avoided catastrophe with their change in the Cody Rhodes saga at this year’s WrestleMania.

The UFC, like I said before, had a tall task with UFC 300. They knew that there would be an immense amount of hype surrounding the show. People love their landmark show numbers and 300 is quite the amount of PPVs to get to. I’m not sure if any fight could actually, truly live up to the UFC 300 main event hype. I do think that some fights would be better received than Pereira/Hill, but I don’t know what fight could actually withstand the weight of attention that the UFC 300 main event commands - especially after all the speculation and rumors over the last few months.

Either way, the UFC 300 card does look pretty awesome. Assuming there are no injuries, pullouts, or other crazy happenings, let’s take a quick look at the complete card (as of right now):

Light Heavyweight Alex Pereira (champion) vs. Jamahal Hill

Women's Strawweight Zhang Weili (champion) vs. Yan Xiaonan

Lightweight Justin Gaethje (BMF champion) vs. Max Holloway

Lightweight Charles Oliveira vs. Arman Tsarukyan

Light Heavyweight Jiří Procházka vs. Aleksandar Rakić

Featherweight Calvin Kattar vs. Aljamain Sterling

Middleweight Bo Nickal vs. Cody Brundage

Bantamweight Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Cody Garbrandt

Women's Bantamweight Holly Holm vs. Kayla Harrison

Featherweight Sodiq Yusuff vs. Diego Lopes

Women's Strawweight Jéssica Andrade vs. Marina Rodriguez

Lightweight Bobby Green vs. Jim Miller

Listen, when you have Bobby Green vs. Jim Miller as your opening preliminary fight, you’re doing something right with the card. The show is stacked from top to bottom. There are two title fights (three if you include the BMF title). There will be contender ramifications. There will be fighters debuting in new weight classes. There will be fighters with things to prove. There will be a big name debuting (Kayla Harrison) for the promotion. There will be fun up-and-comers. The stories going into fight week will be awesome.

So the question is - can we overlook the main event that didn’t meet our expectations and still enjoy the stacked card that is almost sure to be one to remember for many good reasons? Or will we continue to focus on the main event and make this a card that is remembered for controversy and disappointment (similar to the professional wrestling shows that I mentioned before)?

Me? I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the ride. I think Pereira and Hill have enough story behind their fight and enough to prove to make me invested. While it’s not the sexiest fight that passed through my mind, it’s a nice cherry on top for what, I believe, will be a card that is truly worth the money. I think that the entire card will produce fun/great fights that will get people pumped to see what comes next while still talking about the great moments of the night.

What do you think about the UFC 300 main event and card that will take place on April 13th? Do you like or hate the main event? What were you hoping for? Let me know at and let’s discuss!

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I will be back on PWInsider later this week to give a preview of the two cards happening this weekend - the big PFL PPV and the UFC’s return to Mexico City after four and a half years.