Justin Gaethje with the BMF title

Perrenial lightweight contender Justin Gaethje puts his BMF title on the line for the first time this weekend at UFC 300. He welcomes former featherweight champion and active legend Max Holloway in his second fight at 155 for the company.

The two are known not only for their incredible striking ability and pace but also for giving the fans some of the greatest fights that we’ve ever seen. It’s power vs. volume this weekend in its purest form, with two former champions coming together to test each other’s skills in the octagon.

Betting Odds

Making his move up to lightweight, Max Holloway comes into this bout as a betting underdog.

  • Max Holloway: +135 (BetUS)
  • Justin Gaethje: -160 (BetUS)

Fight Breakdown

It’s fairly easy to talk about the fighting ability of each athlete going into this. Holloway has made a legendary name for himself through his ability to put forward immense volume at an unstoppable pace. Gaethje has made the same name for himself but with incredible, showstopping knockouts. Neither likes to take the fight to the ground, despite solid grappling credentials (Gaethje being a Division I All-American and Holloway sporting a Gracie Brown Belt in Jiu Jitsu), and are always looking for a finish. Both could likely go ten rounds, let alone five and have some of the best fundamentals in the game. Finally, they both arguably have the best chins in the entire sport, with Holloway never getting knocked down through his entire career, and Gaethje often going out on his shield standing up on the very few occasions that he’s been put away.

Where the fight’s probably going to be decided, however, is in each fighter’s defense. Both have had glaring weaknesses throughout their careers, that have only been marginally improved upon. In his trilogy with former featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, Holloway exposed a concerning susceptibility to leg kicks, with his footwork being completely shut down in the latter rounds of each fight. Opponents like Yair Rodriguez and Arnold Allen capitalized on this during their fights with him, both doing significant damage to his calves despite each losing.

Gaethje’s biggest weakness has, more often than not, been himself. Opponents often lull him into firefights to expose his chin and land sharp counters, which often rock him and put him on his back foot. In each of his UFC losses, barring his first title challenge against Khabib Nurmagomedov, his opponents would turn it into a dogfight and encourage him to step into the pocket. His improvement on this has been inconsistent throughout his recent fights. He showed remarkable technical ability and patience in his bouts against Tony Ferguson and Rafael Faziev, but then bouts like his battle with Charles Oliveira showed the same, reckless Gaethje that we had seen before.


I’m going with Justin on this one, but I’m fairly light on it. If Max shows up and uses the same head movement and footwork that we’ve seen in recent bouts, it could very well go in his favor, but Gaethje has some of the best leg kicks in the game, so I think that this advantage is only going to hold up for the first two rounds. It should also be mentioned that this is undoubtedly the most power that Holloway has had to deal with, which could very well snap that legendary no-knockdown streak of his going forward.

If there’s one thing that I can see, however, it’s that the fight won’t end in a finish. Both men are far too tough and far too capable of going the distance to let this one end early. I predict a grueling, back-and-forth battle that goes the full five rounds. Regardless, this has fight of the year, if not fight of the decade, written all over it, so fans are in store for a wildly fun fight on an already action-packed card.

  • Pick: Gaethje via UD (+300) or Fight to go the Distance (-110)
  • Lines to Watch: Holloway via KO/TKO/DQ (+700) or Holloway via UD (+225)

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