Michael Bisping: Max Holloway ‘Flipped The Script’ At UFC 300, Justin Gaethje ‘Victim Of His Own Success’

"The Count" breaks down what position Holloway finds himself in and what led to Gaethje's KO loss.

Holloway V Gaethje
(via @ufc - Instagram)

The sport of MMA has the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. 

A great example of that was shown in the legendary BMF title fight between Max Holloway and Justin Gaethje over the weekend. At UFC 300, Holloway slept Gaethje with a punch right before the final buzzer and celebrated emphatically to the roar of the 20,000+ screaming fans in attendance at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Gigantic Fights Could Be In Store For The New BMF

“Blessed” seems to have the world at his fingertips after slaying the lightweight “titan” that is Gaethje. While Holloway challenging Ilia Topuria for the featherweight title may be what’s next on deck, former UFC Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping says there’s plenty of intriguing options for Holloway down the line. 

“Completely flipping the script,” Bisping said of Holloway’s performance at UFC 300 (via TNT Sports). “Let’s remember the narrative was Max Holloway, he was a great featherweight champion, but the sport’s moved, his best days are behind him. He’s the second best guy at featherweight. Well look at this now. He’s just knocked out Justin Gaethje. He’s in a position to defend the BMF belt. He’s in a position to challenge Islam Makhachev, potentially.”

“He’s also in a position to get a rematch with Conor McGregor. Because Conor McGregor has a victory over him. Don’t tell me Conor McGregor’s not looking at that BMF belt. We know Conor’s coming back… There’s a potential for that there. He has just flipped the script. Comes up to 185 [145]. He looks big. He looked accurate. The chin, I mean, the man’s never been dropped.”

Holloway was the second fighter Conor McGregor ever faced in the UFC Octagon back in 2013. McGregor defeated Holloway by unanimous decision and went on to capture UFC featherweight gold with 5-straight KO’s after that. 

Lightweight Champion Islam Makhachev has not yet been added to Holloway’s impressive resume of opponents. Holloway was scheduled to face his predecessor, then-champ Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018 but was forced to withdraw, never getting the chance to fight for the lightweight title.

Bisping: Gaethje ‘Was A Victim Of His Own Success’

Whatever awaits Holloway, it’s sure to be something big for the 32 year-old after creating one of the craziest moments in recent UFC history. Of course, it takes two to tango and the gun-ho Justin Gaethje was on the receiving end of the brutal exchange.

Bisping says Gaethje’s third crack at the title “went up in the flames” by accepting a fight with Max Holloway and that his fan-favorite, ‘bite down on the mouth guard’ fighting style led to his downfall at UFC 300.

“I think he was a victim of his own success,” Bisping said of Gaethje. “Knocking out Dustin Poirier the way that he did and everybody riding the coattails and being a fan for obvious reasons. He’s a very exciting fighter and very accomplished. He thought he was gonna go right through Max Holloway. He really did and he was looking for the knockout constantly.

“You can’t do that when you’re looking for the knockout. You telegraph the shot. He was swinging with everything he had. He wasn’t setting it up. And other than throwing hooks, he was just throwing leg kicks. Step aside, left hook Larry. Leg kick Larry, that’s what we’re gonna call Justin Gaethje from now on. Listen, he learned a very, very valuable lesson because he didn’t have to take this fight. He was the next contender for Islam Makhachev. He was the rightful contender for the lightweight title that just went up in flames.”

Justin Gaethje was the #2 contender before fight night arrived, riding back-to-back wins over top contenders Rafael Fiziev and Dustin Poirier. “The Highlight” was surpassed by Arman Tsarukyan for the #1 contender spot following his win over Charles Oliveira.

Published on April 16, 2024 at 2:16 pm
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