UFC 300 Predictions: Pereira vs. Hill 4/18/24

by | Last updated Apr 9, 2024 | mma

UFC 300: Pereira vs. Hill Picks

When: Saturday, April 13, 2024

Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada


UFC 300 is a blockbuster card out of Vegas, headlined by a light heavyweight title bout between destroyer Alex Pereira and challenger and former champ Jamahal Hill. A little background on how this came to be would help, as Hill had won the vacant title in January 2023, before having to vacate it due to an injury. Pereira was then brought in to fight Jiri Prochazka for the vacant belt, winning by KO to become a two-division champion. And his first order of business as 205-pound champion will be to defend against Hill. Fans should brace for a hard-hitting encounter where any number of possible outcomes seem viable. I’ll dig into some of the key strengths and weaknesses of each fighter and give out a recommended bet.

Fight Analysis:

Alex Pereira, 9-2 (7 KOs), (-125) vs. Jamahal Hill, 12-1 (7 KOs), (+105)—Odds by Bovada

UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Alex Pereira defends his title against Jamahal Hill on Saturday in the main event of UFC 300. Pereira has packed a lot of action into an 11-fight MMA career. With wins over Sean Strickland, Israel Adesanya, Jan Blachowicz, and Prochazka, Pereira has beaten the best across two divisions. Other than losing his pro debut a decade ago and a rematch loss to Adesanya, it’s been mostly uphill for Pereira. But he will now fight a man who could be a serious problem in the 6’4″ Hill, a fighter who is maybe a better fit at this weight.

Pereira is a unique case study. At age 36, MMA seemed to come second in his combat career, with Pereira having fought 40 times in kickboxing, before focusing on the more lucrative waters of MMA. But his incredible striking prowess and ability were a great fit, and his career is packed with highlight-reel knockouts, as he is one of the most dangerous strikers to ever fight. And any pick made against him can only be made with so much confidence, as the notion that he can surface with fight-ending strikes is never going to be that far-fetched, regardless of who he is fighting.

Pereira is so experienced and such a natural with his striking. You see that long kickboxing background come into good use as he effortlessly slings kicks out there, many of which slow down his opponents as the kicks go crashing into the legs of his foes. And if he zeroes in, he’s never more than a solid connect away from finishing the fight in a sudden and violent fashion. That can come with punches, kicks, elbows, or knees. He’s built physically and mentally for violence, and when an opponent is compromised, he’s a terrific finisher.

If looking for a weakness with Pereira, it just comes naturally as a result of his style. In the process of trying to destroy someone, you also put yourself into the line of fire. And even in some of Pereira’s better wins, like against Adesanya and Prochazka, he seemed to be on the verge of being stopped, too. When Adesanya beat him in their rematch, he seemed on the verge of stopping Adesanya. So, his fights have a chaotic element to them where anything can happen, and things sometimes switch on a dime due to Pereira’s risky and high-stakes style of fighting.

Bet on who wins, durations, TKO Y/N? and more at Bovada!

Hill, 32, matches up physically well with Pereira, also standing 6’4″ and having spent his career at this poundage, unlike Pereira, who was a middleweight until recently. Hill hasn’t really fought at this level yet, with his one title fight being against a now-retired and aging Glover Teixeira and his better wins coming against more of the second tier of 205-pound contenders. He’s only four fights removed from a KO loss to Paul Craig, a dangerous fighter but one who never really made it. In Hill’s defense, he dislocated his elbow in that fight, but we can see those justifying a pick on Pereira based on overall track-record may have a point.

The questions surrounding Hill are numerous. After rupturing his Achilles tendon, is he all the way back? Is he rusty? Would it be better to have seen him more active or maybe take a tune-up before battling the more-active champion in Pereira? And not to take shots on what is still a young MMA career, being that it has been enough to land Hill in the UFC 300 main event, but one would likely prefer to have seen him thrive against a higher level of opponent before fancying his prospects against the ultra-dangerous Pereira.

Still, there’s a lot to like, not the least being Hill’s age and having less overall wear and tear. Hill is fast, maybe even a little quicker than Pereira. If he can be cagey and do what he normally does and avoid getting hit too much, it could bode well for him. With his speed and savvy, maybe he does a better job than some recent Pereira opponents in steering clear of his power while waiting for ideal opportunities to pounce. He is fearless while also being calculated. And when he lets loose, it’s hard to picture anyone really standing up to his power.

Again, a pick against Pereira can only be made with so much confidence. If he comes out and violently dispatches Hill in quick order, no one will be terribly shocked. But I think the youth, size, power, speed, and mentality of Hill make him a serious problem for an aging champion in Pereira who has shown he is not invulnerable in the cage. I sense Hill will have the cognizance to steer clear early of Pereira’s power, using his youth and speed to gain the upper edge, before letting his power surface en route to a title-winning victory on Saturday. I’ll take Hill in this one.

My Pick to Win:

I’m betting on Jamahal Hill at +105 betting odds. The Bovada betting line has some upside for Hill, a slight underdog due to Pereira’s highlight reel of violence, but a guy who is still a real problem and won’t be easy-pickings for anyone at this weight.