UFC 300 Main Event Preview and Prediction: Alex Pereira – Jamahal Hill

MMA: UFC 295 - Prochazka vs Pereira
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow night in the main event of the historic UFC 300 card, the light heavyweight title is on the line. Current champion and former middleweight champion Alex Pereira (9-2) will defend his title against the former light heavyweight champion who didn’t lose his belt inside the octagon, Jamahal Hill (12-1, 1 NC).

Starting with Hill, this will be his first fight in 15 months after tearing his achilles last year. Hill became the light heavyweight champion by dominating Glover Teixeira in Brazil to win the vacant title. Hill earned that title shot on the heels of three straight knockouts over Jimmy Crute, Johnny Walker, and Thiago Santos.

Hill was gearing up for a potential title fight with Jiri Prochazka when he tore his achilles in training. He was forced to vacate the title and Prochazka went on to face Alex Pereira for the vacant title. Alex Pereira had moved up to light heavyweight after losing his middleweight title earlier in the year.

Pereira defeated Jan Blachowicz in his light heavyweight debut before getting the title shot against Prochazka. The Brazilian knocked out Prochazka in the second round to win a second UFC title in a second weight class. Now, he’ll meet the man who never lost the belt to begin with.

UFC 300 Prediction

This is such an interesting matchup given the styles. Of course, we know that Alex Pereira is elite on the feet. We are talking about a man who won multiple world championships across multiple weight classes in kickboxing. A two-division UFC champion with stoppage victories over Sean Strickland, Israel Adesanya, and Jiri Prochazka.

On pedigree alone, Pereira is miles ahead. However, Hill is so good on the feet and he hits like an absolute truck. He completely butchered the face of Glover Teixeira and showed tremendous technique in that fight. He’s very long and throws a lot of straight shots which could be really impactful in this matchup as Pereira loves to throw hooks.

One weapon I’m expecting to see right away at UFC 300 is the leg kicks of Pereira. He might have the best leg kicks in the sport right now. There’s no tell before he throws them and he can land on the calf with precision. I expect him to try and chop the legs early. That said, could that lead to Jamahal Hill trying to wrestle?

Hill has really leaned on his striking and has talked about how he wants to knock Pereira out on the feet, however, could he come out with a lot of wrestling early to try and beat up and tire Pereira? Pereira has also been hurt before inside the octagon so I do wonder about his chin, but he seemed to take shots a lot better at 205 than he did at 185.

So, who wins at UFC 300? I’ve gone back-and-forth on this pick and I keep landing on Jamahal Hill. While in theory Pereira should win if this fight remains on the feet, I think Hill is going to land something massive which will ultimately lead to a stoppage victory. Give me Hill to regain his title in the second round.

Prediction: Jamahal Hill by TKO – Round 2

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