UFC 300 Preview and Prediction: Aljamain Sterling – Calvin Kattar

MMA: UFC 280-Sterling vs Dillashaw
Craig Kidwell-USA TODAY Sports

On the UFC 300 prelims, we will see a former world champion make his debut in a new weight class. Former bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling (23-4) moves up to featherweight to take on top ten contender Calvin Kattar (23-7).

Starting with Kattar, this will be his first fight in a year and a half. Kattar last fought against Arnold Allen where he suffered a serious knee injury that required surgery. That fight was in October 2022. January of that year saw Kattar put on the performance of a lifetime when he brutalized Giga Chikadze which led him to a title eliminator against Josh Emmett where he lost by split decision. Kattar is one of the best featherweights in the world, but he’s 1-3 in his last four.

Aljamain Sterling’s reign atop the bantamweight division ended in a second round knockout loss to Sean O’Malley back in August at UFC 292. Not only did his reign end but that loss snapped a nine-fight win streak that saw him defeat the likes of Henry Cejudo, Petr Yan, Cory Sandhagen, and others.

Sterling was always huge for 135 and has wanted to move up for a long time. After he lost his belt last year, the UFC presented him with a featherweight fight on this card and he made the jump.

UFC 300 Prediction

One of the things that made Aljamain Sterling effective on the feet at 135 was his length. He was very long for the weight class so he could throw these awkward strikes and kicks from a distance. Then, when his opponents would get close, he could use his dominant grappling to take the fights down and control his opponents.

Sterling is elite when it comes to his top control. However, will he be able to get the fight to the ground at UFC 300? Calvin Kattar has tremendous boxing and he’s definitely going to have the hands advantage on Saturday night. There’s a question regarding him and whether or not he’ll be able to keep the fight standing.

If this turns into a striking matchup, things get interesting. Sterling can score a lot of points with kicks, but I can’t see him winning a striking decision over Calvin Kattar. I think this fight will go the distance and ultimately, I do think Sterling lands takedowns and gets enough control on the ground to win two rounds. It’s going to be close, but give me the former UFC champ to win his featherweight debut on Saturday night.

Prediction: Aljamain Sterling by Decision

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