UFC 300 Preview and Predictions: The MMA Mashup

UFC 300 Preview and Predictions: The MMA Mashup

Fans and bettors alike will be glued to their screens this Saturday as the UFC unveils the best top-to-bottom card it has put on in quite some time. We'll take a look at every matchup on the 13-bout slate, including a UFC icon who isn't getting much respect in the props department and a whirlwind who will look to run over yet another opponent. Our betting lines this week come from the RotoWire MMA betting page and are accurate to the post date of this article.

Plays to Consider on DraftKings

Zhang Weili ($9,200)

The compelling matchups leading to our co-main event make this fight feel somewhat anti-climactic. Grapplers like Carla Esparza have dominated Yan Xiaonan, and Zhang is one of the few fighters in the division who can combine physical submission grappling and crisp striking. Xiaonan has relied on her movement to disrupt some foot-slow fighters, but Weili doesn't have the deficiencies of some of the fighters her opponent has beaten to earn her shot here. 

Jessica Andrade ($8,100)

Speaking of grappling domination, Virna Jandiroba was able to completely neutralize Marina Rodriguez when the two fought in May, taking her down three times and keeping her controlled for all but three minutes in the three-round affair. Andrade has gotten away from her wrestling of late, but we saw a far more composed version of "Bate Estaca" in her demolition of Mackenzie Dern, which makes me think we will see an appropriate game plan here. Andrade has logged 100 or more DraftKings points in eight of her last nine wins, making it likely she will find a spot on the optimal lineup with a victory here.

Diego Lopes ($8,500)

Sodqi Yusuff Is athletic and can hit hard, but there is just something rote about his boxing that I don't think will be able to deal with the chaos of someone like Lopes. We saw how much trouble "Super" had with an unorthodox striker like Arnold Allen when the two fought in 2021, and that was without the added dimensions of tricky grappling and an unlimited gas tank.

Cody Brundage ($6,700)

"Why not?" It may be a bit too flippant for an analysis article, but the actual explanation isn't much more complicated. Bo Nickal is 5-0 in professional MMA, while his two UFC opponents are now a combined 2-9 in the organization. Brundage has had wins in the Octagon that required him to fight through adversity, and we still haven't seen how Nickal reacts when pushed. To be clear, I'm not advocating anyone fill out 100 lineups that contain Brundage. However, Nikal's relative inexperience, combined with his wins being UFC-caliber in name only, make Cody an interesting stab in GPP formats.

Arman Tsarukyan ($8,700)

I must put my undying love for Charles Oliveira aside when making this pick, as it likely isn't hyperbole to say we have never seen a more dominant fighter at this sort of price. "Ahalkalakets" has averaged 92.9 points over ten fights, including two losses. While "Do Bronx" has shown himself to be a competent grappler from bottom position, his takedown defense stands at just 55 percent, which should raise alarm bells in the face of an opponent who has never lost via submission. Both of these fighters are action-first, so any balanced player must have plenty of each, but I'm going with Tsarukyan, as we might get a fraction of scarcity based on the name value of the former lightweight champion.

Plays to Consider on Prize Picks - Significant Strikes

Deiveson Figueiredo UNDER 37.5 Significant Strikes, Kayla Harrison Under 44.5 Significant Strikes, and Aljamain Sterling UNDER 60.5 Significant Strikes

If there's one thing I learned from my prediction for Cody Garbrandt's fight against Brian Kelleher, it's that the former bantamweight champion will still go out exchanging in the pocket if he feels that he has an advantage. While he may have been wary of Trevin Jones's athleticism, he will likely feel comfortable against the relatively flat-footed Figueiredo, who is not shy about exchanging in his own right. This should lead to a short night for these competitors, as it wouldn't surprise me if this one doesn't get beyond the first round.

Harrison seems to share the good and bad attributes of Ronda Rousey, as the dominant Judo champion seems lost in space while on her feet. What's even more concerning is that it only took a bit of activity from Larissa Pacheco off her back to completely fluster PFL's former indestructible force. Holly Holm has always been incredibly strong for the weight class and has an impeccable command of range. This equates to a fight with an incredible amount of clinch wrestling and stalling against the side of the fence, which will work to depress totals on both sides.

I am always wary of grapple-heavy fighters moving up in weight, as oftentimes, they simply can't move their bigger opponents in the same way they are accustomed to. Much like Harrison's fight above, I think this ultimately leads to panic wrestling from "The Funkmaster." We must also remember that this is a three-round fight, which gives Sterling far less time to accumulate stats.

Plays to Consider on Prize Picks - Fight Time

Alex Pereira OVER 9.75 Minutes of Fight Time, Bobby Green UNDER 14.75 Minutes of Fight Time, and Jalin Turner OVER 7.5 Minutes of Fight Time

Our first total may be the lowest one I've seen for a five-round fight. While both Pereira and Jamahal Hill are incredibly active fighters, they also take their time to make reads, often not becoming aggressive until later on in a bout. While a few glass cannons have done wonders for Hill in terms of first-round finishes, "Poatan" is unlikely to rush early, making this a candidate for a sneaky over.

It may be time to retire the notion of Green being a high-volume decision fighter, as six of his last eight fights have ended via finish. Jim Miller will forever be someone who comes right after his opponent, which makes it likely that either "King" wins big on a counter shot or "A-10's" pressure proves too much for him. In either case, predicting this fight to go to a decision just doesn't seem to jibe with either man's current fighting style. 

We can contrast that with two incredibly durable fighters in our last selection, as both Turner and Renato Moicano have a knack for extending fights, even when hurt. It should also be noted that Turner has a 75 percent takedown defense rate, and I don't see "The Tarantula" as the kind of one-shot knockout artist that the Brazilian has struggled with in the past.

Bets to Consider

Max Holloway wins via KO/TKO (+700)

For months after this fight was announced, I thought Justin Gaethje was the obvious choice, as Holloway struggled with Dustin Poirier's power in his last move to lightweight. However, it may not be that simple. Not only did Poirier not finish "Blessed," but the former featherweight king has never been knocked out in 32 professional fights. If "The Highlight" cannot finish Holloway, he must deal with five rounds of constant volume and pressure. We have seen Gaethjie get tired in fights, so if he cannot put Max away, I don't see how he can stand up to the onslaught late. This line seems incredibly inflated when put in those terms, and it's one I'm glad to take a shot at.

Jiri Prochazka wins via KO/TKO (+195)

I might consider this a very different fight if Aleksandar Rakic wasn't coming off a two-year absence due to a torn ACL, but that being the case, I can't predict Rakic to deal with the movement, chaos, and power of someone like Jiri. This seems like a nightmare matchup after a devastating injury, as Rakic will have no time to settle into the fight. I expect it all to simply be too much, leading to a late first-round or second-round knockout.

For another UFC betting perspective, check out our UFC 300 Best Bets for this weekend. For the latest in UFC odds, head to the RotoWire MMA Betting section. 


North Carolina sports betting launched March 11 with a variety of online sportsbooks. Some of our favorite North Carolina sportsbook promos include the Caesars North Carolina promo code and the Fanatics Sportsbook North Carolina promo code.

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Christopher Olson
Christopher Olson writes DFS articles and blogs for a variety of sports including MLB, NFL and MMA. Follow him on Twitter @RealChrisOlson
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