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How UFC 300 stacks up with UFC 100 and 200

Julian Catalfo / theScore

In the months leading up to UFC 300, there has been more talk about whether the card has lived up to expectations than about the actual fights. Dana White promised a never-before-seen kind of lineup, and fans have debated left and right whether or not the UFC CEO delivered on that.

Throughout it all, there's been one point that's hard to argue: UFC 300 is one of the best cards the promotion has ever put together. But how does it stack up against the other two centennial events, UFC 100 in July 2009 and UFC 200 in July 2016?

Chris Unger / UFC / Getty

Mainstream buzz

UFC 100 featured the top stars of that era and was monumental for a company that seemed doomed just a few years prior. UFC 200 was supposed to be the biggest event in MMA history before a failed drug test forced a last-minute main-event change, though it still featured many of the biggest names in the sport. UFC 300, on the other hand, feels more like a love letter to MMA - a collection of fan-friendly fights that will deliver on the night but isn't ripe with proven pay-per-view draws to bring in new fans.

Conor McGregor, Jon Jones, Israel Adesanya, and Sean O'Malley are the UFC's biggest stars. Yet none are fighting at UFC 300. Jones is recovering from an injury, but the other three might've been available. Instead, Alex Pereira, the light heavyweight champion and a B-level star, will headline the event against former champ Jamahal Hill on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Many would say the UFC 100 era - the late 2000s and early 2010s - were the glory days of the sport, with the likes of Georges St-Pierre, Anderson Silva, and BJ Penn running the show. Brock Lesnar crossed over from the WWE and, for a relatively brief moment, was the UFC's biggest star, headlining five pay-per-view events in seven fights.

Then UFC 200 came at the tail end of Ronda Rousey's iconic run and toward the beginning of the McGregor frenzy - perhaps when MMA was at its most popular among both hardcore and casual fans. The Jones drama during UFC 200 fight week - his main-event bout against Daniel Cormier was canceled at the last minute - made national headlines, giving the event an even bigger boost.

As for UFC 300, the amount of talent on the card is ridiculous. Every fight carries divisional stakes, and there are contenders from top to bottom. For the first time in UFC history, the first fight of the night will feature two former champions. But the problem with UFC 300 is that there are no McGregors or Rouseys to sell the card.

Though UFC 100 and 200 were arguably bigger cards than UFC 300, were they better? Ahead of this weekend's action, we gathered some numbers to compare the three events in a more objective sense. Let's dive in:

Title fights

UFC 100: 2

  • Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Frank Mir for heavyweight title
  • Georges St-Pierre (c) vs. Thiago Alves for welterweight title

UFC 200: 1 (excluding an interim title fight)

  • Miesha Tate (c) vs. Amanda Nunes for women's bantamweight title

UFC 300: 2 (excluding a BMF title fight)

  • Alex Pereira (c) vs. Jamahal Hill for light heavyweight title
  • Zhang Weili (c) vs. Yan Xiaonan for strawweight title

UFC 100 is the clear winner here. Lesnar-Mir was a highly anticipated rematch featuring one of the biggest stars in mixed martial arts at the time. Lesnar had suffered a submission loss to Mir during his UFC debut in 2008, but he quickly rebounded and captured the heavyweight belt against Randy Couture, setting up a second fight with Mir. St-Pierre was making his third consecutive welterweight title defense, fresh off an iconic performance against former two-division champion Penn six months earlier.

Advantage: UFC 100

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Current or former undisputed champions

UFC 100: 4 (Brock Lesnar, Frank Mir, Georges St-Pierre, Mark Coleman)
UFC 200: 9 (Miesha Tate, Brock Lesnar, Daniel Cormier, Anderson Silva, Jose Aldo, Frankie Edgar, Cain Velasquez, Johny Hendricks, TJ Dillashaw)
UFC 300: 11 (Alex Pereira, Jamahal Hill, Zhang Weili, Max Holloway, Charles Oliveira, Jiri Prochazka, Aljamain Sterling, Holly Holm, Jessica Andrade, Deiveson Figueiredo, Cody Garbrandt)

UFC 300 has more current or former champions than any other event in company history. Twelve if you count Justin Gaethje, who held the interim lightweight title in 2020. The disparity from UFC 100 or 200 makes sense - more and more fighters win belts as time goes on. But it's still a drastic increase.

Advantage: UFC 300

Top-10 fighters

UFC 100: 7
UFC 200: 15
UFC 300: 16

UFC 300 also comes through with the most top-10 fighters of the three centennial events. The official UFC rankings didn't exist in 2009, so we relied on these USA TODAY rankings for the UFC 100 fighters. UFC 300 also has the most fighters ranked in the top five of their respective divisions with 13, compared to 11 at UFC 200 and six at UFC 100.

Advantage: UFC 300

Chris Unger / UFC / Getty

Biggest stars

UFC 100

  • Brock Lesnar
  • Georges St-Pierre
  • Frank Mir
  • Dan Henderson

UFC 200

  • Brock Lesnar
  • Anderson Silva
  • Daniel Cormier
  • Miesha Tate

UFC 300

  • Alex Pereira
  • Max Holloway
  • Justin Gaethje
  • Charles Oliveira

Considering Lesnar headlined UFC 100 and co-headlined UFC 200, you can make a case for both cards having the most star power of the three centennial events. However, UFC 200 also had former middleweight champion Silva and then-light heavyweight champion Cormier, so it gets the nod.

Advantage: UFC 200

Which event is the best?

UFC 300. Though it's missing a huge main event - Pereira-Hill is great but doesn't have that big-fight feel - and some star power throughout, the supporting cast more than makes up for it. Gaethje, Holloway, Oliveira, Prochazka, Figueiredo, Garbrandt, Jalin Turner, and Renato Moicano are genuinely some of the most exciting MMA fighters. And they'll all step into the Octagon within a span of six or seven hours.

UFC 300's depth makes it better on paper than UFC 100 and 200.

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