Justin Gaethje reflects on decision to take “huge risk” against Max Holloway at UFC 300: “I have no regrets”

By Chris Taylor - April 20, 2024

Justin Gaethje knew he was taking a “huge risk” when he signed on to fight Max Holloway at UFC 300.

Max Holloway punches Justin Gaethje UFC 300

Gaethje (25-5 MMA) was coming off a second-round knockout victory over Dustin Poirier in July of last year at UFC 291 to claim the promotion‘s vacant BMF title. In addition to taking home the ‘Baddest Mother F**ker’ belt, ‘The Highlight’ had seemingly cemented himself as the top contender to challenge reigning UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev.

However, due to Ramadan, Makhachev was not available to fight in the Spring of 2024, and rather than wait for the Russian champion, Justin Gaethje opted to accept a fight with former featherweight title holder Max Holloway at UFC 300.

It was a high risk / low reward fight for ‘The Highlight’, as with ‘Blessed’ predominantly fighting at featherweight, Gaethje was seemingly expected to get the win. Not only that, but Justin Gaethje was putting his BMF title up for grabs while also risking a future title fight at lightweight.

Ultimately, the huge risk did not pay off for the former interim lightweight champion, as Gaethje wound up suffering a brutal fifth-round knockout loss at the hands of the Hawaiian (see that here).

Max Holloway KO Justin Gaethje UFC 300

(via Zuffa LLC)

Justin Gaethje was pure class in his immediate reaction to the defeat and since sat down with ‘Championship Rounds’ where he shared the following sentiments on his risky decision:

“It’s a crazy game, you know?” Gaethje told MMA Knockout. “I think a lot of people in my position would have sat out not taking [the Holloway fight]. I have no regrets. I think it was… I had so much fun I think it was such a huge historic card for the UFC. And to be a part of that, to be the best fight on that card, you know, it’s gonna live on forever.

Justin Gaethje continued:

“And again, it was a huge risk, I failed, and if I would have won that fight, if I’d got a quick knockout, I would have been taking that fight (against Islam Makhachev), but it’s just the name of the game.”

As for Dustin Poirier receiving the next title shot against Islam Makhachev, ‘The Highlight’ had nothing but good things to say about ‘The Diamond’:

“I’m happy for Dustin. Good for him. Somebody had to fight. I think no matter what, win or lose, it was gonna be pretty much impossible turn around and fight in 5 or 6 weeks. So, this is the way that UFC wanted to go. And so, I guess, you know, I can’t complain about it because I don’t want to sound like… I really have no complaints because it is what it is. I’m not gonna let it eat me up.”

Who would you like to see Justin Gaethje fight in his next Octagon appearance?

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Justin Gaethje Max Holloway UFC UFC 300