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Top Five UFC Fights To Look Forward To In April

April centres on the mixed martial arts leader’s tricentennial event, the historic UFC 300, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld as he highlights the five most-anticipated matchups of the month, including three epic title fights.

UFC

April centres on the mixed martial arts leader’s tricentennial event, the historic UFC 300, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld as he highlights the five most-anticipated matchups of the month, including three epic title fights.

Alex Pereira v Jamahal Hill

Sunday, April 14 SA time

The world’s pre-eminent MMA promotion will stage three events in April, but UFC 300 is all the rage. The UFC has assembled a super card for the milestone event set to be headlined by a light heavyweight title fight between champion Pereira and challenger Hill.

Pereira’s meteoric rise has seen him become just the ninth UFC fighter to win a title in multiple divisions and the fastest-ever to achieve the feat when he finished Jiri Prochazka at UFC 295 to add the 205-pound gold to his collection.

A special breed of kickboxing savage, the feared former middleweight titleholder will headline his fourth pay-per-view in eight fights with the promotion in a bout to determine the rightful light heavyweight champion. 

That’s because Hill never lost the title inside the Octagon. “Sweet Dreams” defeated Glover Teixeira by decision to capture the crown in January 2023, however, he was forced to vacate it after rupturing his Achilles tendon during training.

Finally, back to 100%, the well-rounded Hill looks to prove he’s the true champion by packing up “Poatan” at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Zhang Weili v Yan Xiaonan

Sunday, April 14 SA time

The strawweight strap is at stake in the co-main event of UFC 300. The bout marks the first time two Chinese fighters will compete for a UFC title and comes nearly five years after Zhang became the first Chinese champion with a ferociously fast knockout win over Jessica Andrade in August 2019.

She’s lost and regained the title since then and stands as the undisputed queen at 115 pounds. Looking to knock her off her perch, Yan was the first-ever female Chinese fighter signed by the UFC in November 2017 and boasts an impressive 8-2 record inside the Octagon.

Will Zhang show her superiority, or will Yan realise her dream?

Justin Gaethje v Max Holloway

Sunday, April 14 SA time

Banger alert!

Every now and then, the UFC serves up a special treat and that’s the case with UFC 300’s featured bout for the BMF belt. Gaethje is one of if not the most exciting fighter in UFC history, a lightweight knockout artist unlike any other who won the special strap with a stunning KO of Dustin Poirier last July.

He’s set to become the first man to defend the title, reserved only for the baddest of fighters, against former featherweight king, Holloway, who’s in search of more gold. One of the greatest featherweights of all time, “Blessed” moves up to lightweight for an opportunity of a lifetime in what’s guaranteed to be a clash of epic proportions.

Charles Oliveira v Armen Tsarukyan

Sunday, April 14 SA time

ormer lightweight champion Oliveira takes on surging contender Tsarukyan with a future title shot on the line.  

Oliveira had earned the right to rematch Islam Makhachev, the man who’d dethroned him, by knocking out Beneil Dariush but suffered a cut during training that forced him to pull out of UFC 294.

Now, “Do Bronx” has to go through rising star Tsarukyan, who’s won eight of his past nine bouts. Given Oliveira’s aggressive nature and Tsarukyan’s title ambitions, fans are in for a thrilling fire-fight.

Holly Holm v Kayla Harrison

Sunday, April 14 SA time

One of the biggest names outside of the UFC will make her much-anticipated promotional debut at UFC 300.

Former PFL queen Harrison, a two-time Olympic gold medallist, jumps straight into the deep end as he battles former UFC bantamweight and multi-time boxing champion Holm in a highly intriguing clash of styles.

Having primarily fought at 155 pounds, Harrison’s first battle will be against the scale as she aims to make 135 pounds. A test cut prior to inking her UFC contract left her and her team confident that making weight wouldn’t be an issue.

Now, she’s out to maul “The Preacher’s Daughter” while Holm plans to use Harrison to jump-start a last title run.

Quintin Van Jaarsveld is a former MDDA-Sanlam SA Local Sports Journalist of the Year and a former three-time Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal Sports Journalist of the Year. Formerly the sports editor and Outstanding Journalist of the Year award winner at The Fever Media Group, deputy editor at eHowzit, editor at SARugby.com and senior staff writer at Rugby365.com, he boasts over 15 years’ experience and is currently a freelance sports writer.

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