UFC 303 Full Fight Card Predictions: Pereira vs. Prochazka, Lopes vs. Ortega (2024)

While UFC 303 has been marred by cancellations - including the high-profile Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler fight - it's still a must-watch card. From the very early prelims to the main card, there are plenty of engaging fights and high stakes storylines for eager fans to consume.

Michael Chandler to Attend UFC 303, Minus Conor McGregor: "I Made a Promise"

MMAKO's Mat Riddle is here to provide quickfire predictions for the whole card. Note: These predictions contain author opinion.

Ricky Simón vs. Vinicius Oliveira

It is a huge step up in competition for Oliveira. He's gone from ranked #100 opponents to someone skirting the top 15 in Simón. Simón has hit a rough patch recently, but his losses have been against top-caliber fighters. Regardless of Oliveira's skills, it's safe to pick against him in this fight since it is his first litmus test to see if he can hang at the top. If he beats Simón, then we can start singing his praises. (Pick: Simón)

Carlos Hernandez vs. Rei Tsuruya

Tsuruya's record is prettier, but it's hard to gauge his skill level since his level of competition is weak. Hernandez is also two inches taller, and his only UFC losses have come to real top-level talent in Tatsuro Taira and Allan Nascimento. Judging by the tape, I think Hernandez is susceptible to southpaw strikers like Tsruruya, but I can't pick against him based on his experience level. (Pick: Hernandez)

Andrei Arlovski vs. Martin Buday

This is a tough one to call. I'm not high on Martin Buday, but this is old-man Andrei Arlovski we're talking about. Heavyweights struggle against this version of Arlovski when they give him too much respect --- half of which comes from not wanting to gas out trying to finish him since he's remarkably durable at 45. We saw Tom Aspinall run right through Arlovski when he decided to push the pace.

I don't expect Buday to take the initiative since he's a plodding heavyweight. Arlovski should have the speed and cardio advantage, and Buday may be gunshy since his loss to Gaziev last time out. I'll be slightly risky here and pick Arlovski. (Pick: Arlovski)

Michelle Waterson-Gomez vs. Gillian Robertson

Waterson-Gomez doesn't have any pop on her strikes to the point where Robertson might have a slight advantage on the feet. Robertson's ground game is also some of the best in the women's divisions. I think she takes it to the floor and either submits Waterson-Gomez or controls her for a decision victory. (Pick: Robertson)

Payton Talbott vs. Yanis Ghemmouri

Talbott is a huge favorite for a reason. His shot selection, timing, and general well-roundedness is astounding. Talbott demolished Cameron Saaiman in his last fight, who was an exceptional fighter himself. I believe Ghemmouri is a step down in competition from Saaiman, and I wouldn't be surprised if this was intentionally put on by the UFC brass to give Talbott exposure on (what was) a Conor McGregor PPV. (Pick: Talbott)

Charles Jourdain vs. Jean Silva

A lot of the fights this weekend contain matchups with large experience disparities. While Silva looks promising, he has one UFC win, and it was against Westin Wilson, who dropped his guard at the slightest feint. Jourdain is a different animal, with good striking and an underrated ground game. Jourdain will also be much taller, allowing him the freedom to fight how he pleases, which he wasn't afforded against Sean Woodson in his last fight. (Pick: Jourdain)

Andre Fili vs. Cub Swanson

This is a pick'em fight. Though, Fili might be returning too soon from his KO loss four months ago. Swanson strikes from his hips, and I feel this will catch Fili off guard when they fight. Add to this the fact Swanson is still hanging with the top fighters and I think we have a recipe for an upset. (Pick: Swanson)

Joe Pyfer vs. Marc Andre-Barriault

Pyfer's physicality vs. Barriault's cardio. I believe Pyfer could end this fight in the first round if he stepped on the gas, but after his last performance against Jack Hermansson, we might not see this side of him. Barriault is a danger as long as he can stay in the fight over 15 minutes. That said, fighters usually adapt and improve on their weaknesses once exposed, and I'm hoping that Pyfer has worked on his gas tank.

I'll give Pyfer the benefit here and assume he's improved enough to handle Barriault. (Pick: Pyfer)

Ian Garry vs. Michael Venom Page Prediction

I believe this is more clear-cut than some people might assume. Page is 37, and his debut was a tepid performance over a middling Kevin Holland. Ian Garry continues improving. Garry matches Page for height, he should out speed him and outweigh him. I pick Garry by 15 minutes of leg kicks and jabs. (Pick: Garry)

Mayra Bueno Silva vs. Macy Chiasson

Since it's only a three round fight, Bueno Silva should steal the decision or lock up a submission. (Pick: Bueno Silva)

Anthony Smith vs. Roman Dolidze

While Dolidze is promising on the ground, his standup game has been dreadful in his last few performances. Smith is snappier, more experienced against tougher opposition, and has good grappling to back it up. I expect Smith to work Dolidze on the feet with leg kicks and a quick jab, either for a clean decision or a TKO. (Pick: Smith)

Diego Lopes vs. Brian Ortega Prediction

Ortega had a lot of trouble with Yair Rodriguez in his last fight, and I'm not suggesting Lopes has anywhere near Rodriguez's striking pedigree, but he's been underestimated in every UFC performance. Ortega's lack of striking defense is worrying, and a lot of his game revolves around trying to take his opponent down, which opens them up for strikes.

Since Lopes has an excellent ground game, this shouldn't work well for Ortega, and I think we can expect a striking match. Here, I believe Lopes holds the advantage with his power and venom. (Pick: Lopes)

Alex Pereira vs. Jiri Prochazka 2 Prediction

People forget Prochazka was winning the first fight with Pereira before getting clipped. If Prochazka plays it smart, I wouldn't be surprised if he pulled off an upset. However, Pereira has the perfect nuclear option in his power, and he only has to land once in 25 minutes. Also, don't be surprised if we see a first-ever submission from Pereira, his ground game is underestimated and he almost caught Prochazka in a guillotine in their first fight. (Pick: Pereira)

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UFC 303 Full Fight Card Predictions: Pereira vs. Prochazka, Lopes vs. Ortega (2024)
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