UFC 301 predictions & odds: Will Steve Erceg shock the world and become the new UFC flyweight champion?

A complete breakdown of every fight on UFC 301 complete with a preview and a prediction.
Steve Erceg
Steve Erceg / UFC
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Dione Barbosa (-205) vs. Ernesta Kareckaite (+180) prediction

Two women's flyweights will make their promotional debuts in the third fight of the night with the hype being behind Barbosa as the hometown fighter and former Olympic athlete. Barbosa is the rightful favorite but may be slightly overpriced given that Kareckaite will be significantly larger with a five-inch reach advantage. Given that Kareckaite stuffed all three takedowns attempted on her on DWCS and has shown excellent distance management as a former kickboxer, Barbosa could be in for a long night if she cannot find success with her grappling early.

Prediction: Kareckaite by decision

Mauricio Ruffy (-166) vs. Jamie Mullarkey (+140) prediction

Once known as a talented striker, Mullarkey's durability has been tested in recent years as he has now been knocked down five times in his UFC career with each of his last three losses by knockout. Due to his decreasing chin strength, Mullarkey has turned to a more wrestling-heavy fight style but now faces Ruffy, who has won all nine of his professional wins by knockout and stuffed all three takedown attempts from Raimond Magomedaliev on DWCS. If Magomedaliev — a former Combat Sambo world champion training out of Eagles MMA — could not successfully control Ruffy, it would be hard to see Mullarkey doing so.

Prediction: Ruffy by KO/TKO in round one

Joaquim Silva (+142) vs. Drakkar Klose (-170) prediction

Many still love to point out how close Silva was to shaking up the rankings and knocking out Arman Tsarukyan at UFC Vegas 75 but aside from that lone moment of near greatness, he is just 6-4 in the UFC and 3-4 in his last seven fights. As one of the most underrated lightweights in the UFC, Klose is a significant step up from Silva's last win over Clay Guida and is arguably the second-best opponent Silva will have faced behind Tsarukyan. Since losing to Beneil Dariush, Klose has finished two of his last three wins by knockout while Silva's last three losses have all been the same way.

Prediction: Klose by KO/TKO in round three