Max Holloway Confirms Justin Gaethje Deserved Credit for UFC 300 Knockdown

UFC fighter Max Holloway disputes the official stats of his fight against Justin Gaethje at UFC 300, insisting that he was knocked down by Gaethje despite the record showing otherwise.

Max Holloway, the UFC legend, doesn’t feel the need to exaggerate his achievements. He’s got a spot in the UFC history books that he’s pretty proud of.

Here’s a fun fact: Holloway has never been knocked down in his 29 UFC appearances. That’s right, not once. He’s faced off with some of the fiercest knockout artists in the game, including Justin Gaethje, Alexander Volkanovski, Dustin Poirier, Conor McGregor, Yair Rodriguez, Jeremy Stephens, and a bunch more.

And guess what? None of ’em have managed to put Holloway on the mat. At least, that’s what the records say.

There was this one time, though, in Round 4 against Gaethje at UFC 300. Gaethje landed a hard shot that seemed to knock Holloway off his feet for a sec. But the official stats didn’t count it as a knockdown. Even ESPN tweeted that Holloway’s perfect record of never being dropped was still intact.

But Holloway, he’s got a different take. He thinks Gaethje deserves credit for that hit.

On The Joe Rogan Experience, Holloway said, “It didn’t count as a drop, which is crazy. ESPN is posting and saying in however many fights I’m with the UFC, I still didn’t get dropped. That’s some bullshit. Give Justin that one. I’ll take it, but I wouldn’t be a man sitting here and telling you that he didn’t.”

He remembers getting hit, sitting down, and then getting back up. He was like, “What the f*ck did he just hit me with? Holy shit. That was a good punch.” And when he rewatched it, he realized Gaethje had hit him right on top of his head. He was like, “Holy smack, brother, this guy smacks.” He was fine as soon as he got up, but it was one of those hits where your legs just give out. He doesn’t understand why it didn’t count as a drop.

Many thought Gaethje would defeat Holloway and defend his “BMF” belt. But Holloway put on an incredible performance and knocked out Gaethje in the final seconds. It’s considered one of the greatest finishes in combat sports history.

At 32, Holloway rarely talks about retirement. In the past decade, his only losses have been against Volkanovski and Poirier. So he’s surprised that so many were counting him out at UFC 300.

He’s been fighting since he was 20 and has faced off with some of the biggest names in his division. He thinks people were too quick to write him off after his losses to Volkanovski. He doesn’t believe in MMA Math: “I beat a guy that beat you.” He lost to Dustin, Dustin just got knocked out from Justin, and now can he say he beat Dustin now because he beat Gaethje? No. Styles make fights.

Holloway vs. Gaethje was a perfect stylistic matchup. The fan-favorite strikers went at it for four rounds, with Holloway leading on the feet and up three rounds to one on the official scorecards.

In the closing moments, Holloway tested his legendary chin and, as always, came out on top.

People often ask him what he was thinking during those final moments. He was up 4-1 and just thinking about getting to the 10-second mark. He remembers his coach yelling, “A minute, Max! Stay clean!” He was ready to go to the center and swing. But the clock seemed to be moving so slowly.

Right after the 20-second mark, Gaethje did his rolling thunder. It pushed Holloway to the point of perfectly circling out and then he said, “Come here. Let’s go here. Let’s throw it.” Everyone was losing their minds, but to him, this was normal. This was the second time he did it. He heard people say, “The first time was Ricardo, but he ain’t no Justin Gaethje.” But why not? If he was to put him out, then so be it. Live by the sword.


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