Max Holloway Admits to Feeling 'Counted Out' Prior to UFC 300 Win Over Justin Gaethje

UFC
April 15, 2024
Max Holloway had to remind the doubters at UFC 300 that he was one-half of the BMF title fight for a reason.

Based primarily on a previously-unsuccessful venture to 155 pounds in 2019 and opponent Justin Gaethje’s well-earned reputation as a wrecking machine, Holloway entered Saturday’s fight as the underdog. And don’t think for a second that the former featherweight champion wasn’t well aware of public perception.

“Brother, I was counted out,” Holloway said at Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “People were telling me, ‘What are you doing? Justin’s too big, too strong,’ just a lot of stuff. People needed to get reminded, and I let them know. I was telling people all week, ‘I’m him. I’m here,’ and you guys need a reminder.”

What transpired in the Octagon was one of the most complete performances of Holloway’s career. “Blessed” appeared to break Gaethje’s nose with a spinning back kick to the face at the end of Round 1, and he poured it on from there, outstriking his foe by a 181-to-103 count in significant strikes.

While Holloway could have cruised to a decision victory in the final stanza, he instead pointed to the center of the Octagon, where he and Gaethje proceeded to slug it out in the waning seconds of the fight. What resulted during that exchange was an epic knockout by Holloway that will go down as an all-time moment in UFC history.

“If that’s not a BMF moment, I don’t know what is,” Holloway said. “If the cards were flipped and Justin felt like he was up, I know he would give me that 10-second shot. He’s a bad man, and I don’t know if I’m ever gonna share the Octagon with him again. He’s a legend.

“This is the type of stuff you do to etch your name in the history books. I’m just happy that I was the one landing. He missed some shots, and I was getting hurt by the wind of his shots. That’s how hard he hits.”

Holloway had nothing but praise for Gaethje, who appeared to be in line for a lightweight title shot after knocking out Dustin Poirier last July. Instead, he accepted a fan-friendly matchup against Holloway at UFC 300.

“He had everything to lose,” Holloway said. “He still took this fight, UFC 300, the biggest fight card for the next decade probably. To go out there and do what we did, you know, we both got paid, so I’m happy for that. Even the fans, you know, pushing him for this fight, Justin accepting the fight, getting my flower shorts, crazy championship-like walk. It was just an amazing night.”

With a high-profile victory on a massive stage, Holloway has options in two weight classes, which was part of the incentive for him to take a fight many expected him to lose.

“I’ve got options, it feels great,” he said. “Dana’s happy, [UFC COO Hunter Campell is] happy, [UFC matchmaker] Sean Shelby’s happy. We’re going to sit down with the team and figure it out. I saw they just announced the [lightweight title fight], so it looks like [Islam Makhachev is] finally defending against a ‘55er, which is good on him.

“Like I said, there’s [featherweight champ Ilia Topuria]. He’s doing everything in his will to try to escape the bull in the pen, so I’m here.”

Reference: https://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Max-Holloway-Admits-to-Feeling-Counted-Out-Prior-to-UFC-300-Win-Over-Justin-Gaethje-193337

More news

EVENTS / FIGHTS
Jun
1
2024
UFC 302
Makhachev vs. Poirier
Jun
8
2024
UFC ON ESPN 57
Cannonier vs. Imavov
Jun
15
2024
UFC ON ESPN 58
Perez vs. Taira
Jun
22
2024
UFC ON ABC 6
Whittaker vs. Chimaev
Jun
29
2024
UFC 303
McGregor vs. Chandler
Jun
8
2024
PROFESSIONAL FIGHTERS LEAGUE
PFL Europe 2: 2024 Regular Season
Jun
13
2024
PROFESSIONAL FIGHTERS LEAGUE
PFL 4: 2024 Regular Season
Jun
21
2024
PROFESSIONAL FIGHTERS LEAGUE
PFL 5: 2024 Regular Season
Jun
28
2024
PROFESSIONAL FIGHTERS LEAGUE
PFL 6: 2024 Regular Season
Aug
2
2024
PROFESSIONAL FIGHTERS LEAGUE
PFL 7: 2024 Playoffs
Jun
7
2024
ONE CHAMPIONSHIP
One 167: Stamp vs. Zamboanga
Jul
5
2024
ONE CHAMPIONSHIP
One on Prime Video 24
Aug
2
2024
ONE CHAMPIONSHIP
One on Prime Video 25
Sep
6
2024
ONE CHAMPIONSHIP
One 168: Denver
Jun
1
2024
UFC 302
Makhachev vs. Poirier
Jun
7
2024
ONE CHAMPIONSHIP
One 167: Stamp vs. Zamboanga
Jun
8
2024
PROFESSIONAL FIGHTERS LEAGUE
PFL Europe 2: 2024 Regular Season
Jun
8
2024
UFC ON ESPN 57
Cannonier vs. Imavov
Jun
13
2024
PROFESSIONAL FIGHTERS LEAGUE
PFL 4: 2024 Regular Season