UFC 300 – Justin Gaethje & Max Holloway Risking Title Fights for BMF Oppurtunity

Image for UFC 300 – Justin Gaethje & Max Holloway Risking Title Fights for BMF Oppurtunity

In arguably the biggest fan favourite fight on the card, Justin Gaethje meets Max Holloway at lightweight for the BMF title, currently held by The Highlight. The fight is such a fan favourite as we have two men at the very peak of their powers, two of top contenders in their respective divisions and two men with exciting fighting styles.

The issue with this fight isn’t the potential of the fight itself, it’s the fact that both men, especially Gaethje are risking a shot at the real belt in favour of the gimmick belt.

The outcome of this fight, taking into account both men’s fighting styles could seriously impact the integrity of both 145lbs and 155lbs. We broke down the fight on our YouTube channel, which can be found here:

Justin Gaethje and Lightweight

Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje is easily the most deserving of a title shot at lightweight. He’s enjoying a two-fight winning run, including the big win last time out against fellow top contender, Dustin Poirier (who is coming off a big win himself at UFC 299), as well as a fight-of-the-night winning effort over Rafael Fiziev at UFC 286.

He’s a new test for the lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev and has only lost to the best at lightweight. He was doing extremely well against Khabib Nurmagomedov before The Eagle took over and finished things.

Elsewhere at lightweight, we have Charles Oliveira vs Arman Tsarukyan at UFC 300 too, seemingly in a title eliminator. Poirier is coming off just one win and a loss to Gaethje prior to that so needs another win before gaining a shot at the belt again.

The only clear contender at lightweight is Gaethje and he’s risking a shot at the legitimate, undisputed belt in favour of the gimmick belt. There could be an argument that Mateusz Gamrot could get an outside shot. He’s won his last three, however, has looked far from his best in those three wins.

Max Holloway and Featherweight

For Max Holloway, it’s clear that he’s one of the best featherweight contenders on the roster. He’s only lost to one man in 11 years at 145lbs and is a fresh contender for the new champion, Ilia Topuria. Now that his long-time foe, Alexander Volkanovski no longer holds the belt, he has a good shot at gold…again.

Blessed has beaten the #3, #4, #6, #8 ranked contenders at the weight and his most recent two wins came in dominant fashion against Arnold Allen and Chan Sung Jung. Interestingly, since Topuria won the belt, there has been far more discussion about a potential rematch with Volkanovski or a fight with the undefeated, Movsar Evloev.

In the 145lbs division, Volkanovski deserves a rematch. With that being said, he needs to take time out to rest, heal and go again. The division is hot at the moment and cannot afford to stand still. Holloway would be the next logical contender, however, he’s chasing the BMF title at UFC 300.

The Risk Against The Reward

The risks are obvious, as are the rewards.

The risks include losing their place in the rankings in their own divisions. As this fight is taking place at lightweight, it’s Gaethje’s place that is more at risk. Holloway would be well within his rights to demand a shot at Makhachev’s belt with a win over Gaethje. He’d be the man who holds a win over the #1 lightweight in the world most recently so it m makes sense.

Holloway’s place is likely to be unchanged. He’s got nothing to lose in terms of his featherweight stature. A loss in a weight class above his own shouldn’t affect his ranking at 145lbs. He, realistically has nothing to lose, other than the obvious.

The obvious being separated from consciousness and the potentially, seriously injured. Gaethje is an all-action, heavy-handed individual who comes to not only win but to hurt his opponents in the process. We’ve seen against Volkanovski that Holloway can be vulnerable to the leg kick and unfortunately for the Hawaiian, Gaethje is one of the best leg kickers in the game.

Likewise, it appeared that some of the wars that Holloway has been in in the past have taken their toll on him. Previously, he was showing concussion-like symptoms ahead of a scheduled bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov. Since then, he’s taken three beatings at the hands of Alexander Volkanovski as well as going to war with Dustin Poirier.

Poirier lands on Holloway

If he reverts to type, there’s a chance that Holloway could go through an absolute war with Gaethje, hindering him in the future.

For Gaethje, he’s also been in a number of big wars. Poirier, Eddie Alvarez, Charles Oliveira, Michael Chandler and Michael Johnson all went through a brutal clash with The Highlight. Holloway will take some confidence that Oliveira and Tony Ferguson rocked Gaethje massively when they faced off, despite not being the biggest punchers.

Whatever happens, these two men are risking it all in favour of fan entertainment, a place on the biggest card in UFC history and an opportunity to make history.

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Frazer Krohn has been with MMASucka for nearly 5 years. He is the host of the MMASucka podcast, which is released every Monday. He's the author of a series of six books about MMA, which were published in 2023.

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