5 of the best buzzer-beater UFC finishes

Buzzer-beater finishes like Max Holloway's are rare in the UFC, but not entirely uncommon. Here are the top 5 that we've seen over the years.
Apr 13, 2024; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Max Holloway (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Justin
Apr 13, 2024; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Max Holloway (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Justin / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Justin Gaethje vs. Max Holloway

UFC 300 was always going to be a card that makes it difficult to pick a favorite win. But Max Holloway said, "Hold my beer."

Challenging Justin Gaethje for the "Baddest Motherf*cker" or the "BMF" belt on the main card of the marquee event, the Hawaiian secured a victory for the ages - one that becomes a part of MMA lore almost immediately.

Holloway started the fight crushing Gaethje's nose with a well-aimed back kick at the buzzer of the first round. But Gaethje, a deserved holder of the BMF belt, was not one to wither. The two went back and forth in an expectedly striking heavy show, and Gaethje even seemed to have hurt Holloway in the fourth round.

Despite Gaethje's best attempts, it seemed like when the final bell rang, he would not get the judges' nod. Despite having every reason to believe he is ahead on the scorecards, Holloway beckoned Gaethje to scrap it out in the middle of the cage for the final few seconds of the fight - quite reminiscent of the Chan Sung Jung vs. Yair Rodriguez bout.

It is not a gesture we expect often of UFC fighters. But somehow, Holloway surprised no one when he did so - such is the man that he is. In a way, when Holloway pointed at the canvas and urged Gaethje on, he was possibly giving his opponent a chance to pull off a miracle. Gaethje, never one to shy away from a battle for as long as his body allows, joined in.

And yet, it was Holloway who ended up casting the last spell of magic. After weeks of hearing how he had "pillow hands" compared to the heavier, sturdier Gaethje, Holloway landed an overhand right in a wild exchange, etching an all-time highlight reel in history.


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