What’s Next: UFC 300 Losers

Jamahal Hill, UFC 300
Jamahal Hill, UFC 300 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Saturday night’s UFC 300 boasted a historic lineup of fights that all somehow delivered. Nonstop action for hours and hours as the card saw eight of the thirteen total fights end in finishes.

The main event saw Jamahal Hill return from a debilitating injury layoff to unsuccessfully attempt to reclaim the title that he never lost against “Poatan” Alex Pereira.

There are a few fighters that need to pick up the pieces and start over after UFC 300. And all fighters have a lot of options moving forward regardless of the direction they choose to go in.

Jamahal Hill

Jamahal Hill was brutally stopped by Alex Pereira in the first round at UFC 300. An incredibly difficult result to stomach for the fighter that made a miraculous recovery to an Achilles tendon tear last year.

Hill ran thru Jimmy Crute, Johnny Walker, Thiago Santos and finally beat Glover Teixeira in a one sided five-round beating to claim the light heavyweight belt in January 2023. Hill suffered the injury outside of competition, relinquished his belt, recovered and originally was slated to comeback against Anthony Smith last month.

After a rebook, Hill fought Pereira at 300 and Smith fights 11-0 including 4-0 in the UFC, Vitor Petrino at UFC 301. While giving Hill the winner of that fight is tempting the better direction to go in would be the feature prelim winner of UFC 300, Jiri Prochazka.

Jiri had a poised come from behind win, against Aleksandar Rakic, who was returning from a nearly two years layoff. An impressive striking displayed that would be another solid high-ranking matchup for Jamahal Hill. And more importantly, it’d be a top 5 high level striker to prove himself against and a fast turnaround.

If Hill needs some extra time to recover after the stoppage, then a top 10 striker like Khalil Rountree Jr. would be a great matchup. Rountree last competed in December of last year finishing Anthony Smith. A latter half of third or quarter of the year matchup would allow Khalil to compete and Jamahal to take time, then return.

Hill’s next fight: Jiri Prochazka or Khalil Rountree Jr.

Yan Xiaonan

Yan Xiaonan lost a disappointing, decisive, five round co-main event to the UFC strawweight champion, Zhang Weili. Xiaonan is now 8-3 with the UFC and has lost three of her last five fights.

Virna Jandiroba would be a solid top 5 type of opponent for Xiaonan. It would be a solid match up as Virna is a grappling specialist and at UFC 300 Weili definitely exposed some holes in Xionan’s ground game. Jandiroba is on a 3-fight winning streak and has won four of her last five fights with the UFC.

This fight would also keep Xiaonan within a fight or two of the title picture. Jandiroba also last fought in March, so the timing should line up fairly well. Especially with Jandiroba specifically calling to fight fighters ranked in front of her following her last fight.

Top ranked fighters Tatiana Suarez and Amanda Lemos are also decent canadines, but ultimately match up better against each other. (Suarez has had layoffs from injuries and Lemos is just one fight removed from a title shot.)

Xiaonan’s next fight: Virna Jandiroba

Justin Gaethje

Justin Gaethje was brutally KO’d in the final seconds of a five-round bout against Max Holloway for the BMF title at UFC 300. It was a spectacular fight that will be talked about for years to come and the gall of both men to risk everything in the final seconds of such a great fight was something to behold.

Unfortunately for Gaethje, he was on the wrong end of the highlight reel moment on Saturday night so he must reevaluate his spot in the ever-evolving UFC lightweight elite merry go round.

A really good striking match up and a fight that a lot of fans would get hype for, would be Justin Gaethje vs Renato Moicano. Renato has been on fire recently and has won five of his last six fights, four via stoppage. “Money Moicano” is a crowd favorite and during the UFC 300 prelims stormed back from being dropped the first, to stop Jalin Turner in the second. Fun fight with a top 10 fighter and they both shared a card.

If Gaethje needs some time, then a Charles Oliveira rematch would be a solid fight to consider. Give Gaethje time to recoup and train and a win and he’s virtually a fight or two from title contention. It’s also an excellent opportunity to show improvement in his game thanks to the result of the pair’s first meeting.

Gaethje’s next fight: Renato Moicano or Charles Oliveira

Charles Oliveira

Charles Oliveira lost a crushing split decision Saturday night against Arman Tsarukyan. The bout was undoubtedly deciding who would be next in line to challenge for the UFC lightweight belt. Now Oliveira must compete against another fighter to decide who will be the next in line after Tsarukyan.

Charles has fought pretty much everyone in the UFC’s lightweight title picture. But Charles has not fought emerging contender Mateusz Gamrot. Mateusz is a top 5 contender who has won seven of his last eight fights and is a jiujitsu ace. He last competed about a month ago, against Rafael dos Anjos so the timing would also work very well. It’s a great fight to make.

A Gaethje rematch would be an excellent alternative to the Gamrot fight if that doesn’t materialize. Justin just lost by KO on Saturday night to a fighter in Max Holloway that might not stay in the weight class. If Charles wants some time, this rematch could really make sense, and set the winner up to compete for the title once again.

Oliveira’s next fight: Mateusz Gamrot or Justin Gaethje

Cody Brundage

After a somewhat promising first round, Brundage was submitted by one of the UFC’s brightest prospects via rear naked choke in the second. Brundage became the first fighter to take Bo Nickal out of the opening round.

Brundage, a 2020 Contender Series product, is now 4-5 in the UFC. Brundage has fought five times since last April and has won just two of those fights (though they were both first round finishes)

Dusko Todorovic would be an excellent match for Cody as he has also won just two of his last five fights. Todorovic also has a similar amount of experience in the UFC as he has a 3-4 record with the promotion. And Todorovic was on the Contender Series like Brundage, though it was a year earlier in 2019. Todorovic withdrew from his bout against Edmen Shahbazyan last month so potentially he could be ready for a bout against Brundage in a few months.

Brundage’s next fight: Dusko Todorovic