With April’s monumental UFC 300 card still without an official headliner, a host of floated matchups have been tossed into the ether ahead of the flagship event, from the likes of massive return for ex-champion, Conor McGregor – to light heavyweight kingpin, Alex Pereira, and former middleweight titleholder, striking star, Israel Adesanya.
With the current setup featuring two ‘title’ fights in the form of an undisputed strawweight clash between Chinese pair, Zhang Weili, and Yan Xiaonan – as well as a symbolic BMF championship bout between Justin Gaethje and Max Holloways, fans have called for another championship pairing – or a leftfield return or blockbuster non-title affair to take main event honors.
Promotional CEO, Dana White has claimed he plans two more fights to take place on the April card – including an elusive main event, so let’s take a look at what realistic options the promotion have to take curtain closing honors on the flagship show.
Tom Aspinall vs. Alex Pereira –
Minting himself as the interim heavyweight champion on the same card as Alex Pereira’s ascension to the light heavyweight throne, Tom Aspinall may be forced into a defense of that interim crown while he awaits a title unification fight with Jon Jones.
And naturally, following his rise from the middleweight limit – where he also landed spoils, Pereira has been floated as an opponent to Aspinall in a stunning heavyweight title launch – in a bid to become the first three-weight champion in Octagon antiquity.
With weeks dwindling down to UFC 300 –in which players from Kentucky and elsewhere can place bets on a slew of fights on the stacked card, could White and brass have a perfect main event fight in the form of Aspinall x Pereira sat right in front of them?
Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler –
Former two-weight champion, Conor McGregor may have been steadfast in his claim to a June 29. fight during International Fight Week against Michael Chandler, however, White has firmly put the brakes on that date for his return.
Fans have speculated the promotional boss is simply trying to throw fans off the scent of and impending announcement confirming McGregor’s comeback at UFC 300 against the aforenoted, Chandler.
It seems a perfect-fit for a pay-per-view card of this nature, however, with the inclusion of two championship fights, as well as a stacked card from top-to-bottom, featuring McGregorn an event as such would be a first for the organization, who have relied on the Dubliner’s sole star power in the past to spearhead their cards – rather than building huge events around him.
Dricus du Plessis vs. Israel Adesanya –
Another fight seemingly right on the horizon for the promotion – even for the UFC 300 card, is a middleweight championship grudge fight between Dricus du Plessis and the above-mentioned, Israel Adesanya.
Striking gold at UFC 297 back in January, South African champion, du Plessis toppled common-foe, Sean Strickland in Canada, before calling out Adesanya for a title affair.
Attempting to secure a massive title fight with the City Kickboxing staple, du Plessis has since now claimed that a potential longer-than-expected sidelining ro recover from injuries suffered last month, may force him to sit out a UFC 300 card – in place of a UFC Africa event, rumored to take place later this annum.
Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 3 –
This one comes as a rather leftfield suggestion – one that also completely shafts the aforenoted, Chandler.
Long-linked with a trilogy rubber-match with long-time foe, Nate Diaz, Conor McGregor has claimed in the time since their 2016 rematch how he owes the Stockton native a decider in the form of a third fight – and has received backing to feature against the alum at a massive UFC 300 card.
Himself welcoming the possibility of headlining UFC 300 against his Crumlin rival, McGregor – Diaz cited their failed UFC 200 rematch back in 2016, however, the Californian would first and foremost have to re-up with the organization.
Alex Pereira vs. Israel Adesanya III –
In a bid to potentially round out their rivalry once and for all – the possibility of Alex Pereira defending his light heavyweight crown against Israel Adesanya, in place of an injury-stricken, du Plessis at UFC 300 – could be one of the more realistic options to headline the event in April.
1-1 throughout their Octagon rivalry, following two prior victories for Pereira in the pair’s Kickboxing tenures, given the Brazilian’s ascension to light heavyweight supremacy, a title fight at 205 pounds against Nigerian-Kiwi enemy, Adesanya could very well draw in the general fanbase to a massive UFC 300 card.
Adesanya’s most recent outing inside the Octagon came last September in a title fight loss to the previously mentioned, Strickland in a huge upset defeat, however, with time running thin on securing a UFC 300 headliner, promotional brass may look to the ex-two-time gold holder to take main event honors in a light heavyweight sophomore outing against Pereira in a bid to mint himself as a two-weight gold holder.