Predicting the stud & dud for UFC 300

Here's who we think will have a stand-out performance at UFC 300 and another fighter we think might flop.
UFC 273: Volkanovski v The Korean Zombie Zombie
UFC 273: Volkanovski v The Korean Zombie Zombie / James Gilbert/GettyImages

UFC 300 is finally here. In an era of UFC cards being thrown at you almost every weekend of the year, you can appreciate UFC 300 so much more. The fights are legendary, the quality of fighters is the best in years, and the potential for multiple fight-of-the-year candidates is high.

Under the bright lights, there is always one standout fighter and one who might miss the mark. On a quality card like this, the latter is a little bit harder to predict. With a little digging, there is a great argument for the following two fighters as the stud and dud for UFC 300.

UFC 300 stud: Aljamain Sterling

With all the hype surrounding so many fighters on the UFC 300 card, Aljamain Sterling isn't talked about enough. Why is he flying under the radar? That question makes Sterling an interesting candidate to be the stud of the night at UFC 300.

Recent bias will always be a part of the fight game. Sterling took on Sean O'Malley in his last title fight in the bantamweight division and got knocked out badly. Losses like that tend to linger and devalue fighters. However, few fighters have accomplished what Sterling has in his time with the UFC.

Before his loss to O'Malley, Sterling's resume includes Cory Sandhagen, Petr Yan, T.J. Dillashaw, and Henry Cejudo. Not many fighters are coming out of that undefeated. Sterling also stayed active while taking time off by participating in grappling matches. Not many fighters do that and it shows his drive to be one of the best martial artists in the world.

Making his featherweight debut, Sterling isn't taking the easy way out. Calvin Kattar is a dangerous striker with elite durability. If this fight doesn't finish early, there is a dark horse chance this fight is in the fight of the night conversation. Both guys are hungry for wins and they've been at the top of the food chain for years. This fight, among several others, represent just how good UFC 300 is on paper.

UFC 300 dud: Kayla Harrison

To pick a dud on this card is pretty difficult. From top to bottom, UFC 300 can go to bat with any UFC card in history and the fights haven't even happened. Superstardom and the social media era have a lot to do with that. Fighters are growing popular along with the sport. Alex Pereira is the best example. Let alone his accomplishments in the UFC, his fan base represents how quickly he became a household name.

There lies the biggest problem with Kayla Harrison. If you compare her to every other fighter on this card, it's almost insane to think she's making her UFC debut. Her confidence is one of her best qualities, but this spot comes with a range of hurdles.

Being UFC 300, there's no such thing as a tune-up fight. She's taking on Holly Holm, one of the UFC's best female fighters ever. More interestingly, Holm has excelled in a similar position in the past. Her fight with Ronda Rousey reshaped women's MMA and the matchup with Harrison has a similar tune.

Harrison has been dominant throughout her career, but her lone loss came against Larissa Pacheco in the 2022 PFL championship. When comparing records, it's hard to not give some edge to Holm. On top of that, Holm came in as a striker, but has improved her clinch and wrestling game in several ways. Harrison will be tested on the feet, and it would not be surprising to see her shooting for desperate takedowns if the fight goes Holm's way. The betting line suggests that this will be a walk in the park, but Holm has been in this position before.

All the pressure is on Harrison. Based on all the preamble and current betting lines, a split decision win for Harrison seems unimpressive. The expectation seems to be that she will dominate. Whether she can dominate Holm remains to be seen, but there's something about MMA that tells you this could go either way, and it will be tough to live up to the hype.


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