Multiple fight announcements including fights for UFC 300

Photo Courtesy: UFC

UFC CEO Dana White made a slew of fight announcements on Thursday night including the first sets of fights for UFC 300 next April.

White confirmed fights for the following four cards including the first official fights for the UFC 300 event in April:

Feb. 17 (UFC 298 in Anaheim, California)
– Robert Whittaker (24-7) vs. Paulo Costa (14-2)
– Geoff Neal (15-5) vs. Ian Machado Garry (13-0)

Whittaker and Costa is a middleweight, which the UFC has tried to book several times over the past few years. Former champion Whittaker last fought at UFC 290 in July where he was stopped by Dricus du Plessis. Costa has not fought since August 2022 when he beat Luke Rockhold by unanimous decision.

Machado Garry and Neal had previously been announced for UFC 299 in March but are being moved to the 298 card in Anaheim, California.

Feb. 24 (UFC Fight Night in Mexico City)
– Yair Rodríguez (15-4, 1 NC) vs. Brian Ortega (15-3 1 NC)

This is a rematch from July 2022, which Rodriguez won by TKO after Ortega suffered a shoulder injury in the first round and it was waved off. Rodríguez is coming off a TKO loss to Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 290 and Ortega has not fought since the loss to Rodríguez. This fight will also be a five-round fight even though Brandon Moreno vs. Amir Albazi will headline the Mexico City event.

March 30 (UFC Fight Night in Atlantic City, New Jersey)
-Manon Fiorot (11-1) vs. Erin Blanchfield (12-1)

This should produce the next flyweight title challenger with Blanchfield winning her last nine fights and is 6-0 in the UFC with wins over Jessica Andrade and Talia Santos this year. Fiorot is on an eleven-fight winning streak and beat Rose Namajunas by decision in September.

April 13 (UFC 300 in Las Vegas)
– Jiří Procházka (29-4-1) vs. Aleksandar Rakić (14-3)
– Aljamain Sterling (23-4) vs. Calvin Kattar (23-7)
– Bo Nickal (5-0) vs. Cody Brundage (10-5)

Procházka returned from a shoulder injury and was stopped by Alex Pereira in November 295 last month in a fight for the vacant light heavyweight title. Rakic is 6-2 in the UFC and sustained a knee injury in his last fight against Jan Blachowicz in May 2022 and lost by TKO.

Former bantamweight champion Sterling is moving up to featherweight after losing the 135-pound title to Sean O’Malley in August. He meets Calvin Kattar, who has lost three of his last four including back-to-back losses against Josh Emmett and Arnold Allen in 2022, which is when he last competed.

Nickal has been flawless since transitioning to MMA and this is a meaningful step up in competition but not into the deep end of the weight class. Brundage is 4-4 in the UFC and is coming off a KO via slam against Zachary Reese earlier this month.

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