Alex Pereira vs. Jamahal Hill predictions | UFC 300 1

UFC 300 is finally here, and the main event will be a light heavyweight showdown between Alex Pereira and Jamahal Hill.

As always, we’re here to bring you our expert analysis, predictions, and picks for not only Pereira vs. Hill but every other fight at UFC 300 as well.

Betting Odds

  • Alex Pereira: -130 (BetUS)
  • Jamahal Hill: +100 (BetUS)


We’ve got two staff picks for Alex Pereira vs. Jamahal Hill and you’ll find them below.

Braeden Arbour

Alex Pereira vs. Jamahal Hill is just the fight that the Light Heavyweight division needs. Not only does it provide a little more clarity to a championship that has been in flux for the last few title fights, but stylistically, it’s just an exciting matchup.

As everyone knows, Alex Pereira is one of—if not the best—kickboxers to ever transfer to the UFC. He likes to stalk his opponents, corralling them between himself and the cage, using stiffening low kicks and feints to draw out inopportune strikes his way. He then either slips and counters or covers and counters. He has a nice straight right but has become synonymous with left hooks.

On paper, Jamahal Hill is a good striker in his own right, but Pereira has the accolades. However, Hill does a good job of peaking in and out of range with a long right hook and right jab, as well as straight left or mirrored techniques from the conventional stance. Watch for Hill to constantly switch feet and mix up all of his attacks and where they are coming from. Hill also does a good job of hitting the power body kick and left high kick from southpaw. For Pereira, he has to do something to hinder the movement of Hill early, so that he cannot move in and out to avoid counters so easily, the clearest route to do so would be to utilize those low kicks, regardless which stance Hill presents him with.

Both Hill and Pereira have shown they are capable of carrying finishing power into the fifth round, as well as go a strong five rounds overall. That being said, Pereira’s ability to maintain a gas tank is very influenced by the style of fight he is forced to deal with. Against Jiri Prochazka, it did take the Glory kickboxing veteran a tad more time to settle into the fight and read the unorthodox movement of the former champion.

When Pereira is still settling, is when he tends to get taken down, and when he is taken down, there is some evident fatigue present afterward due to just less experience grappling at such a high level. If Hill can put Pereira on the mat early it would do a lot. It’s not as if Hill has qualms about striking with the champ, however reminding him that he has to pace himself for every aspect of mixed martial arts would be smart. Alex Pereira has shown a lack of awareness off of his back, however in back to back fights he has shown a solid guillotine threat to fend off takedowns against the cage.

Hill has not shown a heavy offensive wrestling game by any means, however the same athleticism that has lent him a very high takedown defense rate, as well as the consistent ability to wrestle up and out of bad situations would translate well as long as he prepared to take Pereira down in camp. Hill has devastating ground and pound from top position when he has either knocked his opponents down with strikes or reversed position, he likes to stay tall, and frame down to drop high impact elbows and fists from height.

Overall it’s an exciting matchup, if Pereira can affect the legs and footwork of Hill, all of that kickboxing mastery can be highlighted. He has the power advantage, although both can knock one another out. Yet, Hill, as an underdog, has a clear grappling advantage if he can manage to put Pereira there. He is durable and dangerous in every area, and with his ability to flick and move as well as switch stance he could give Pereira some pause and expose those opportunities to mix in the grappling. While the fight is close to call, I think the underdog is a fair pick.

Pick: Jamahal Hill to win (+100 at BetUS)

Michael Pounders

One of the sloppiest divisions with an imbalanced mix of interim belts, contentious title challenges, and inconsistent performances should finally achieve some semblance of clarity on Saturday night as Alex “Poatan” Pereira looks to defend his belt against the man who vacated the belt to injury, Jamahal “Sweet Dreams” Hill in the main event of the biggest PPV in UFC history. Excitement doesn’t begin to describe the feeling for this fight and this card.

Pereira, a highly accomplished kickboxer, transitioned to MMA late in his career. Many felt his early title shot at 185 pounds was the result of narrative rather than merit. Despite fighting for the 185-pound belt after only seven total MMA fights, only three of which were in the UFC, Pereira proved the doubters wrong with his “death touch” knockout to win the belt. He subsequently lost the belt in a similar fashion five short months later.

He decided to move up to 205 and was again awarded a shot at the vacant 205-pound belt despite controversy and criticism, as Pereira only had one split decision win at 205. Again, Pereira proved the doubters wrong with another vicious knockout win to secure his second belt in the UFC, all accomplished in only seven UFC fights. Pereira has been able to accomplish so much in such a short period of time because he is a proven champion who tends to excel when the lights are the brightest.

“Poatan” is an exceptionally talented, technical, and dangerous kickboxer with, possibly, the best pound-for-pound power in the UFC. He fights methodically, letting his opponent come to him, and never rushes his game plan. That is the value of his experience, even if he is down a round or two, Pereira doesn’t press and continues to fight his fight, trusting that he’ll be able to execute when the opportunity presents itself.

Hill, outside of a freak arm injury due to an armbar after dropping his opponent and going for the finish, has been perfect in the UFC and in his career. “Sweet Dreams” has a goofy personality and isn’t afraid of the camera when he’s not training, which helps increase his fan base but, I also think, keeps him underrated.

Make no mistake about it: Hill is a championship-caliber fighter with devastating power and an ability to inflict violence in the cage. He is a sharp boxer who utilizes an intelligent jab and footwork to create openings for his back hand to land flush. Because of his high-end technique, Hill lands at the end of his punches and packs real power without having to load up. In fact, in several of his fights, he’s dropped and opponent with what looks like nothing more than a prodding cross. That goes to show how powerful Hill really is.

Hill is a confident striker, and for good reason, but carries his chin high. While he’s never been finished because of his chin, Hill does have the low hands and high chin style that leaves him vulnerable on the feet. But, until he’s dropped, we have to trust the durability he’s shown time in and time out. Beyond his excellent boxing, Hill is a capable wrestler who can mix in takedowns periodically throughout the fight. While Hill is almost exclusively a striker, his ability to mix in takedowns helps him to win close rounds and create openings on the feet.

Pereira has looked unbeatable at times and exposed at times. I credit that to him still being raw as a mixed martial artist. Against pure strikers, few can hang with Pereira. But, against complete mixed martial artists, “Poatan” looks more human. While I think Pereira is one of the best strikers in the UFC who can end any fight in an instant, I do still have questions around his game. Namely, his ability to win when he doesn’t land his “death touch.”

In the first fight against Adesanya, Izzy was three minutes away from a decision win before Pereira uncorked a left hand that changed his life forever. Again, in the Blachowicz fight, Pereira wasn’t able to hit his one-hitter-quitter, and Blachowicz, at 40 years old, gave Pereira a truly tough test.

Meanwhile, Hill has done nothing but impress since his debut. He should be long enough to keep at range with Pereira, has the boxing to touch Pereira up and test his chin- which has been cracked before- and has a wrestling game to rely on if things get dicey. And, while Hill carries his chin a little high for comfort, has never given a reason to doubt his durability.

The bottom line, I think Hill is the better mixed martial artist in this fight. I think Hill will be able to take advantage of Pereira’s slow pace early, stance switch well enough to negate Pereira’s deadly calf kicks, and carries enough power to test Pereira’s chin. His striking ability mixed with a backup plan of wrestling has me confidently taking “and new” in this one. I think Hill will eventually find Pereira’s chin and put him out in the middle rounds.

Pick: Jamahal Hill to win (+100 at BetUS)

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