When the fight card for UFC 300 was announced, some fans were disappointed when Alex Pereira and Jamahal Hill headlined the massive event. However, Pereira put on an impressive show in the centennial event and announced his presence as a true megastar en route to helping UFC 300 become one of the most memorable UFC events ever.

UFC 303 was supposed to be Conor McGregor's return to the octagon, but a foot injury forced him to pull out of the event only two weeks before it took place. Pereira was the only fighter who could save a card that seemed doomed to fail. The Light Heavyweight Champion stepped up on short notice to once again defend his belt, and he will be doing so against Jiri Prochazka, the fighter who he beat to become a two-division champion back at UFC 295.

With the championing stepping up, UFC 303 now looks like yet another entertaining card in a summer that has been filled with them, even despite McGregor's decommitment from the event. In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about UFC 303.

When and where is UFC 303?

UFC 303 is on Saturday, June 29. The early prelims will kick off the night at 6 p.m. ET. The action continues during the prelims at 8 p.m. ET, and finally, the main card will start at 10 p.m. ET. The fights will take place in the fight capital of the world: Las Vegas, Nevada. T-Mobile Arena is the venue for all of the action.

How to watch UFC 303

The main card will be available exclusively through pay-per-view purchase via ESPN+. The prelims can be caught on ESPN and ESPN+, while the early prelims will be on UFC Fight Pass.

As usual, Jon Anik will lead the commentary team. Being that the fights are taking place stateside, Joe Rogan will provide color to the broadcast, as will Daniel Cormier. Din Thomas will provide analysis as well. Megan Olivi will be in charge of pre and post-fight interviews, and Brendan Fitzgerald will serve as the desk anchor. Chael Sonnen and Teddy Atlas will serve on the desk analyst team, and Dustin Poirier will take off the gloves and join them. Of course, Bruce Buffer will be the in-octagon announcer.

Date: Saturday, June 29 | Time: 10 p.m. ET (main card)

Location: T-Mobile Arena — Las Vegas, Nevada

How to watch: ESPN+ PPV (main card)

Odds: Pereira -184

UFC 303 fight card

Main card: 

Light heavyweight: Alex Pereira (C) vs. Jiri Prochazka (main event, title bout)

Lightweight: Brian Ortega vs. Diego Lopes

Light heavyweight: Anthony Smith vs. Roman Dolidze

Women's bantamweight: Mayra Bueno Silva vs. Macy Chiasson

Welterweight: Ian Machado Garry vs. Michael Page


Middleweight: Joe Pyfer vs. Marc-Andre Barriault

Featherweight: Cub Swanson vs. Andre Fili

Featherweight: Charles Jourdain vs. Jean Silva

Bantamweight: Payton Talbott vs. Yanis Ghemmouri

Early prelims:

Women's strawweight: Michelle Waterson-Gomez vs. Gillian Robertson

Heavyweight: Andrei Arlovski vs. Martin Buday

Flyweight: Rei Tsuruya vs. Carlos Hernandez

Bantamweight: Ricky Simon vs. Vinicius Oliveira

Main event

Alex Pereira Jiri Prochazka UFC 295
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The MMA world was devastated when Conor McGregor was forced to pull out of UFC 303. His return and inevitable fight against Michael Chandler, the fighter he coached against in The Ultimate Fighter, has been years in the making. The first ever simultaneous two-division champion is 35 years old now, and he doesn't want to fight unless he is fully healthy.

McGregor has earned that. He is by far the most important thing to happen to MMA, and without him, the UFC wouldn't be where it is today. His return to the octagon will be one of the biggest sports returns ever, and considering he is coming off of back-to-back losses, it is fair that he wants to be at his best. McGregor had never previously pulled out of a fight in the UFC.

Alex Pereira is the fighter stepping up on short notice to take on the burden of headlining the event. This isn't the first time Pereira has saved the day, either. Jon Jones was originally supposed to headline UFC 295, but after he pulled out due to injury, Pereira stepped up as the main eventer and won his belt over Jiri Prochazka.

The two are now set to face each other for a second time. Pereira is one of just nine multi-division UFC champions in the companies history, but Prochazka is a former champion in his own right at the light heavyweight class.

Their first fight only lasted two rounds, but it was highly entertaining and incredibly competitive until it ended. Both fighters thrive in stand-up. Pereira is arguably the best kick boxer in the UFC. He wears his opponents down with leg kicks before utilizing his knockout power to end fights. Prochazka is an excellent striker, too. He has an unorthodox, samurai-like style.

Pereira led the significant strikes counter 38-30 in the first bout matchup against Prochazka. Then, the former Middleweight Champion was able to get his opponent in close and finish him with elbow to be crowned Light Heavyweight Champion.

We haven't seen either fighter spend a lot of time on the ground, but Prochazka would be smart to try and take down the champion. Pereira's hands and feet have proven too dangerous for opponents, but we haven't seen Pereira have to utilize much wrestling or jiu-jitsu yet.

Pereira is favored to win this fight, and for good reason. He has become a fan favorite because of his killer mentality. However, the light heavyweight division hasn't been all that stable in recent years, and Prochazka's unpredictability makes him a threat to recapture the belt he held in 2022 that he only lost because of an injury.

The light heavyweight belt has switched hands five times since Jon Jones vacated the title in 2020. A Prochazka win would create even more chaos for the division, while a Pereira win would finally bring stability to the UFC's most iconic weight class.

Main card

Michael Venom Page debut UFC 299
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Pereira and Prochazka aren't the only fighters stepping up on short notice to duel on the main card. Brian Ortega and Diego Lopez also took their fight on short notice after McGregor withdrew. The featherweights will instead be fighting at lightweight.

Ortega is a former two-time title challenger in the featherweight division. He struggled with injuries and crucial losses in recent years, but the triangle choking specialist reemerged in the title picture when he beat Yair Rodriguez in February. Ortega will now be challenged against Diego Lopes, one of the up-and-coming stars in the sport.

Anthony Smith will be fighting Roman Dolidze on the main card. Smith fought off retirement rumors with his latest win over Vitor Petrino, and he could climb up the rankings with a win at UFC 303. Dolidze isn't currently ranked, but he had a promising future before losing each of his last two fights. A loss for either fighter would be devastating for their future title hopes.

The lone fight on the main card in the women's division will be between Mayra Bueno Silva and Macy Chiasson. Bueno Silva fought for the belt in her last fight, but she had an underwhelming and somewhat embarrassing performance against Raquel Pennington. Fatigue was an issue in the five-round fight, so a return to three rounds could be beneficial.

The first fight on the main card is one of the best fights of the night. Michael Venom Page, a Bellator legend, announced himself to the UFC world in his UFC debut against Kevin Holland at UFC 299. Page is known for his flashy personality and even more flashy style. He throws wild and daring kicks and high-flying strikes, and he is one of the most entertaining fighters in the world because of it.

He made easy work of Holland, but Machado Garry will be a bigger challenge. Nicknamed “The Future,” Machado Garry is one of the fastest-rising stars in the UFC. At 14-0, he is still undefeated, and a win against a legend like Page would put him in the title picture. Machado Garry had made easy work of everyone he'd faced until his last fight, but Geoff Neal gave him some problems at UFC 298. Fights featuring Page are always pure entertainment, and that will surely be the case against another premier striker like Machado Garry.