Holloway fires warning shots at rivals after stunning knockout blow in epic fight

The 32-year-old Hawaiian looked in vintage form with his five-round demolition of the fearsome Justin Gaethje


Leslie Wilson Jr

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Max Holloway (right) punches Justin Gaethje during the UFC 300. — Reuters
Max Holloway (right) punches Justin Gaethje during the UFC 300. — Reuters

Published: Sun 14 Apr 2024, 10:02 PM

Just when we thought we had seen it all in Mixed Martial Arts (MA), Max Holloway reminded us that there are still many surprises to come when he delivered a spectacular last-gasp knockout against Justin Gaethje in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

With just 10 seconds on the clock, the indefatigable Hawaiian (33 fights -26 wins -7 losses) pointed to the centre of the Octagon and taunted Gaethje (30-25-5) to engage in a slugfest that threatened to blow the roof off the sold-out T-Mobile Arena.

As the two warriors hurled bombs at each other, the fight ended dramatically when Holloway threw a punch of seismic proportions.

With just two seconds remaining, Holloway landed a hammer fist flush on Gaethje's face that knocked his lights out as the Arizona native fell to the canvas like a sack of potatoes.

UFC's milestone 300th card became an instant classic and will forever live in the memory of MMA’s legions of fans.

“We had so much to lose and nothing to gain for this fight but we did it for you guys,” Holloway yelled out, fists clenched in victory, as the 18,000 fans in attendance gave him a standing ovation.

"Whoever’s next, sign on the dotted line, let’s get it. Any weight, I’m a gladiator. I don’t care.”

Holloway earned the “Fight of the Night” and “Performance of the Night” accolades and a double bonus of $600,000 while Gaethje also earned $300,000 for his part in the epic contest.

UFC CEO Dana White saluted Holloway. “People always ask me what I do — I sell moments for a living,” the UFC boss said.

“That was the ultimate holy moment of all time. If you were at home or if you were here live tonight, there’s no bigger fight than that. That’s why Max Holloway is beloved,” White added.

“He’s got the fight won and he’s in there with one of the most dangerous fighters in the business and he says let’s do this and they both oblige and they go in and just start [throwing bombs]. One second left and a knockout like that. That’s like a movie.

“He was a star coming in here. He took himself to an entirely different level after tonight.

"Tonight was a career-defining moment for a guy that has already accomplished so many great things. One of the greatest featherweights of all time, if not the greatest.

“He’s always talking about how he’s got the best hands in the UFC and then he does what he does tonight. Awesome. I can’t say enough good things about both of those guys and that fight.”


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