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UFC 300 results, highlights: Max Holloway scores brutal, last-second knockout of Justin Gaethje in ‘BMF’ fight

In a career filled with brilliant performances and iconic moments, Max Holloway somehow outdid himself in his UFC 300 lightweight fight for the ceremonial “BMF” championship against Justin Gaethje. After outworking and outstriking Gaethje, Holloway took a crazy risk and dared Gaethje to stand and trade in the center of the Octagon as the final seconds of the fight ticked away. The risk paid off as Holloway knocked Gaethje out cold with one second remaining in the fight.

The opening round played out much as expected, with Holloway’s crisp boxing going head-to-head with Gaethje’s single-shot power. Things took a big turn in the final seconds of the round, however, with Holloway throwing a spinning kick that landed to Gaethje’s nose, seemingly shattering it on contact.

The rough night continued for Gaethje in the second round, with Holloway accidentally poking him in the left eye, though Gaethje took less than a minute of recovery time before deciding to continue battling. Another eye poke — this time to the right eye — from Holloway would follow minutes later.

Still, Gaethje continued to try and come forward, with heavy leg kicks serving as one of his most effective weapons. In response, Holloway stuck to jabs and right hands that went both to the body and up to the head, where Gaethje had to keep his mouth open as he’d told his corner he couldn’t breathe through his nose.

Gaethje had his best moment of the fight late in Round 4, cracking Holloway with a hard right hand behind the ear that briefly stunned the Hawaiian, briefly dropping him to the canvas. Holloway was able to quickly recover and make it to the horn.

While Gaethje’s corner implored him to keep up the pressure in Round 5, it was Holloway who delivered the big shots, unloading with an extended combination that hurt Gaethje and sent him stumbling back into the cage.

As the fight approached the final 10 seconds, Holloway invited Gaethje to the center of the Octagon, pointing at the canvas and suggesting a wild exchange to finish the fight. Gaethje, always the warrior, was willing to oblige and the wild exchange did come, with both men firing punches until an overhand right from Holloway connected and sent Gaethje crashing face-first to the canvas with just one second left in the fight.

“All I’ve got to say is I’m him,” Holloway said after his win. “I’m him, guys.”

Holloway then called for a fight with newly-crowned featherweight champion Ilia Topuria or even lightweight champion Islam Makhachev. One thing is for certain, Holloway is the embodiment of the term “BMF” after that performance. 

The main event saw Alex Pereira make quick work of Jamahal Hill to retain his light heavyweight crown. Pereira, who previously held the middleweight title, is hoping for a quick turnaround to fight on UFC 301 in Brazil next month. Plus, women’s strawweight champion Zhang Weili retained her title with a decision over Yan Xiaonan. That fight saw some dramatic swings as Zhang appeared to finish Yan twice in the first two rounds only for Yan to rally in the middle rounds and give the champ all she could handle.

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