UFC 300: Who's next for Alex Pereira, Max Holloway and Kayla Harrison

Max Holloway submits candidate for KO of 2024 with epic BMF title win (1:42)

Max Holloway knocks Justin Gaethje out cold in the final second of the BMF title fight at UFC 300. (1:42)

UFC 300 was booked as one of the greatest fight cards ever made. From the moment Deiveson Figueiredo finished Cody Garbrandt in the opening bout to the final knockout by Alex Pereira in the main event, Las Vegas was filled with memorable moments from some of the biggest stars in the organization.

Perhaps nobody had a bigger moment than a man who has had many of them throughout his career. Max Holloway knocked out Justin Gaethje with seconds to go to put a bow on a tremendous performance in the BMF title fight. Holloway's stock is at its peak once again, but which weight class title fight is calling his name next? Before Holloway, Kayla Harrison won her UFC debut over Holly Holm in style, Bo Nickal remained undefeated and Arman Tsarukyan avoided tapping during a last-minute submission attempt from Charles Oliveira to win his bout.

So who should be next for the big winners of the evening? Let's take a look:

Max Holloway, featherweight/lightweight

What should be next: Ilia Topuria

They have to make this fight. We just witnessed maybe the greatest knockout of all time. One of the greatest sequences of all time. One of the greatest 25-minute performances of all time.

There were a lot of people who were literally worried about Holloway's health when this fight was announced ... and he moves up a weight class and does that to a former interim champion and No. 1 contender? That is a superstar performance on a historic card. You strike on this while the iron is hot.

Title fight. Hopefully they can do it in Spain. That would be quite a scene.

Wild card: Conor McGregor

Like I just said, strike while the iron is hot. Trying to book a fight with McGregor is a good way to lose a year of your career. Ask Michael Chandler, who will finally get his shot against McGregor at UFC 303.

Still, Holloway vs. McGregor for the BMF belt would be one of the biggest events in UFC history.

Alex Pereira, light heavyweight champion

Alex Pereira celebrates after fast finish of Jamahal Hill in main event

Alex Pereira makes quick work of Jamahal Hill and celebrates after the first-round finish at UFC 300.

Who should be next: Magomed Ankalaev

Pereira said in the Octagon after the fight that he wants to do big things, like turn around in three weeks and fight Tom Aspinall. But I think cooler heads will ultimately prevail.

Nothing against Jamahal Hill, Jirí Procházka or anyone else, but in my mind, the two best light heavyweights in the world right now are Pereira and Ankalaev. Let's show that matchup the respect it deserves and book it with an appropriate build up.

Wild card: Tom Aspinall

I mean, if Pereira really wants to do it and Aspinall is down (which he told me on Saturday he would never say no to a fight against Pereira), then fire away. I'd like to see this matchup at some point, but it obviously would feel very rushed for the Brazil card in three weeks.

Zhang Weili, strawweight champion

Zhang Weili cruises to second straight title defense

Zhang Weili defeats Xan Yiaonan via unanimous decision to retain the UFC women's strawweight championship.

Who should be next: Tatiana Suarez

This should be one of the most anticipated women's title fights in years, honestly. I doubt that it will live up to my expectations though, because the general public is still mostly unaware of how good Suarez is. But the true MMA fan base knows how long this has been coming.

Zhang is the No. 1 pound-for-pound female fighter in the world, and had Saturday's first round against Yan Xiaonan been just one second longer, we'd be talking about a first-round finish. She is at the top of her game and at the top of the sport. But Suarez might have an ace up her sleeve with her Olympic-caliber wrestling.

Wild card: Jessica Andrade

If Suarez is unavailable for whatever reason, the UFC can run this back.

It's not nearly as exciting as the Suarez matchup, as we've already seen it. Zhang has a win over Andrade from 2019, but there is a story here. Andrade took that fight quickly after she won the belt, and agreed to do it in China as a good sport, when the UFC was trying to grow the sport in that region.

Andrade hasn't been on a long run of wins, but she has won the fights necessary to get back to this position and would be deserving of the shot.

Justin Gaethje, lightweight

Who should be next: Conor McGregor

Take this answer with a grain of salt. McGregor hasn't set foot in the Octagon to fight Michael Chandler yet, and I'm suggesting him for other matchups? I get it.

But I will say, everybody knows McGregor only has two fights left on his UFC deal. If he decides he really wants to try and get through both in the near future, it's possible we could see a semi-active McGregor. I mean, probably not, but it's possible, and if it happened, McGregor vs. Gaethje has always been a marquee fight.

Plus, Gaethje deserves something good after taking such a risk in this fight against Holloway.

Wild card: Charles Oliveira

This isn't a perfect suggestion either, but that's what happens when a No. 1 contender waiting for a title shot takes a BMF fight and loses. The future becomes a little murky.

Gaethje was heartbroken about his performance against Oliveira in 2022. He says it's the one time in his career he allowed emotions to get the better of him -- fighting for the title at home. They're both now coming off a loss, but both aren't completely out of title contention yet.

Even with no BMF title or UFC title on the line, this would be a massive rematch.

Arman Tsarukyan, lightweight

Who should be next: Winner of Islam Makhachev and Dustin Poirier at UFC 302

Whether it's in Abu Dhabi in October or whenever, wherever, Tsarukyan has earned the title shot. He knocked out Beneil Dariush in the first round. He beat the former champion in Charles Oliveira.

I didn't agree with the scorecard for Oliveira, but I get it, he almost submitted Tsarukyan twice, but especially the third round, he clearly lost that entire round before nearly pulling out a miracle submission. The fight ended with Tsarukyan in serious trouble, but that's just it. It ended. One final close attempt does not negate the four minutes that came before it.

Tsarukyan deserves the title shot, no drama, no controversy. Now he just need to wait to see who he'll face.

Bo Nickal, middleweight

Who should be next: Winner of Julian Marquez vs. Zachary Reese on June 8

The only thing I don't like about this answer is that these two don't fight until June. I'd imagine Nickal will want to fight again before the end of the summer.

Marquez is a veteran with personality. He'd offer a test to Nickal.

Reese is 6-1 and just lost to Brundage, so he's in the same ballpark as the opponent Nickal just fought.

I'd be down to elevate Nickal higher. With his level of wrestling, he could beat pretty much anybody on any given night. But once you make that jump up, it's hard to go back. So, I don't think there's a huge rush to make it happen now.

Wild card: Anthony Hernandez

This is who Nickal mentioned by name as a possible opponent. If the UFC does want to put him on the fast track, then by all means. Hernandez is tested, skilled and just a very good middleweight.

This is definitely a 'careful what you wish for' type of risk if the UFC was to go ahead and book it.

Kayla Harrison, bantamweight

Kayla Harrison submits Holly Holm in her UFC debut

Kayla Harrison locks in a rear-naked choke on former champ Holly Holm in her UFC debut.

Who should be next: Winner of Raquel Pennington vs. Julianna Peña

This was a fantastic UFC debut for Harrison. Her next fight will be for a title. The question is against who and when.

I think Harrison answered that for us. In her post-fight speech she said she'd take either Pennington or Peña, even though Pennington is the champ and doesn't have a fight booked at the moment. Reading between the lines, I think Harrison has an idea the UFC is going to make that fight next, which is great for her. That cut to 135 pounds is a tough one. I can't imagine she wants to make it too frequently.

Let Pennington vs. Peña play out, my guess is sometime in late summer, and then you've got Harrison ready for the winner come December.

Wild card: Raquel Pennington

If for some reason the UFC doesn't do Pennington vs. Peña, then Harrison will simply jump to next in line. I just can't see the UFC booking her to anything but a title fight after demolishing Holly Holm.

Aljamain Sterling, featherweight

Who should be next: Brian Ortega

Sterling's wrestling translated very well to his new division, at least against Kattar. He looks more than comfortable at this weight and is a threat to anyone in the division, so let's not waste time.

This would be arguably the best bantamweight of all time, going up against a perennial top-3 featherweight contender in Ortega. And who wouldn't want to see Sterling's physical, forward grappling style against the finesse of Ortega's jiu-jitsu?

Wild card: Movsar Evloev

The UFC has to figure out what to do with Evloev. His fighting style is not always the most fan-friendly -- in fact, it's rarely fan-friendly. But he's 18-0 as a professional mixed martial artist and the company can't deny him much longer.

I still doubt you'll see him against the likes of an Ortega, Max Holloway or Yair Rodriguez, but the UFC might consider Sterling. It's a fight that might appeal to Evloev because it's a name. And the UFC can tell Sterling it's a straight shot to a title fight if he takes out the undefeated contender.

Deiveson Figueiredo, bantamweight

Deiveson Figueiredo submits Cody Garbrandt in Round 2

Deiveson Figueiredo gets Cody Garbrandt to submit with a rear-naked choke to kick off UFC 300.

Who should be next: Kyler Phillips

There really aren't too many available names ahead of Figueiredo's in the bantamweight division, despite him only being there for two fights.

In the UFC's rankings, Aljamain Sterling is ahead of him, but he's a featherweight. Petr Yan is out for a while with an injury. Henry Cejudo isn't retired, but he's on the cusp. I don't see many options for Figueiredo who are ranked ahead of him. But that's fine. He's in a good position. Unless he wants to stay inactive for a bit, which I wouldn't recommend, Phillips makes sense.

Phillips is coming off one of the best performances of his career and he's a legitimate title contender prospect. This would be a heck of a fight.

Wild card: Dominick Cruz

I feel like I put Cruz as a wild card for just about everyone at bantamweight, because he remains ranked No. 12 despite no fights in the last 20 months. Cruz is always an option for anyone coming off a big win though, because he's a big name. And Figueiredo just beat one former bantamweight champion. Adding another one to the resume would build him as a title challenger