Justin Gaethje vs. Max Holloway is the best fight on UFC 300, here's why

While there will be two title fights that follow it in the bout order, Justin Gaethje and Max Holloway might just be known as the people's main event for UFC 300.
UFC 291: Poirier v Gaethje 2
UFC 291: Poirier v Gaethje 2 / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

We're just days away from the highly anticipated UFC 300, a card so stacked with talent and star-power from top to bottom that it can be arguably the UFC's greatest put together on paper.

The event will feature two official title fights in Alex Pereira defending the UFC light heavyweight championship against Jamahal Hill and the UFC women's strawweight championship on the line when Weili Zhang faces Yan Xiaonan. But then there's one more title fight — albeit not an official one — as the BMF belt will be up for grabs.

People can mock the BMF title all they want. But when you look at the two people who are competing in that match — Justin Gaethje and Max Holloway — it's those names that are the selling point. The BMF context can be appropriate considering how awesome and popular these two fighters. But honestly, even without the BMF title, you can book Gaethje and Holloway in a one-on-one showdown and people will flock to watch it.

And while it won't be the headlining bout this coming Saturday, people flocking to their TVs, to their mobile devices, to the bars, and to the T-Mobile Arena, to see this fight (along with everything else).

What makes Justin Gaethje vs. Max Holloway the fight to watch for at UFC 300

Gaethje deserved to have all the hype that he came into the UFC with after his time as World Series of Fighting lightweight champion. The UFC certainly seemed to knew what they had when they booked him for his debut in a main event bout against Michael Johnson. And Gaethje delivered as the two put on a heck of a show that ended with Gaethje finishing Johnson in the second round.

From there, it has been, to take the words of WWE's Sheamus, banger after banger. Even if he didn't come out on top every time, the wars Gaethje has waged in the Octagon with the likes of Eddie Alvarez, Dustin Poirier, Michael Chandler and Rafael Fiziev over the years since his 2017 debut. And when the fight didn't go long, most likely it was because of a highlight finish Gaethje delivered, leading to his signature flip off the top of the Octagon.

And then there's Holloway, who has been one to watch in the Octagon since his own UFC debut — which came against Poirier and occured when Holloway was just 20 years old and five fights into his professional MMA career. His rise up the featherweight ranks was a joy for people to see and he's gone on to become one of the greatest 145ers to ever compete in the sport.

The fighting pride of Hawaii has some of the best hands that can be put on display, and he always makes every fight a show. And just as much of an entertaining fighter he is in the cage, people also love him for his laid-back personality and his heart outside of it.

These two men are two of the most popular figures in the modern UFC, and it's an amazing experience we're going to see this matchup happen live. And when this fight goes down, you better believe that the two are going to fire shot after shot in the hopes of being the last man remaining on his feet — or at least the one with the less battered face at the end of it all.

It's often said when talking about Gaethje and his fights, but when you look at his background and his time as an All-American wrestler at the University of Northern Colorado, you would think this man would be a grappling expert in the cage. But Gaethje is a man who loves to entertain, even if it means throwing himself into the fire. And so he fires away with his hands, going on to earn Fight of the Year honors on more than one occasion. As of the time of this publication, Gaethje has the highest significant striking accuracy percentage in UFC lightweight history and the second-most significant strikes landed per minute rate in UFC lightweight history.

As noted in the UFC 300 predictions made by FanSided MMA's Curtis Calhoun, Gaethje has been known to thrown some leg kicks to slow down his opponents. That opens up the opportunity for him to do his damaging work to his opponents' heads and bodies. The same strategy may just apply here with Gaethje: bring the pressure early, then use kicks to be systematic with his attacks and weaken (or at least throw off) his opponent's defenses. Not to mention, Gaethje has quite the chin, allow him to eat shots and continue to press forward with his attacks.

That said, it's going to definitely be a mix of a chess match and a firefight when he's in there with the man who uses "Hawaiian Kickboxer" as his entrance music. When people refer to Max Holloway being one of the greatest strikers, let alone boxers, in UFC history, there's a reason for it. Go look at Holloway's UFC profile (or at least his Wikipedia page). Look at the length of the striking records that he has set in the Octagon over the course of his career.

Holloway has put on striking clinics against the likes of Jose Aldo, Yair Rodriguez, Brian Ortega and Calvin Kattar. When Holloway is in the Octagon, it's usually quite the show. Holloway fires off a lot of punches in a fight, but he does so tactically, with precision, and with a proper balance of speed and damage. That's led him to the success he's had in his career.

There will be several questions we'll need answered in this fight that can lead to a determination of who will win: Which of these two men have the more damaging punches? Will Gaethje's kicking come into play — whether it be done to slow down his opponent or for a highlight KO like he did in the UFC 291 rematch with Poirier? Will Gaethje's pressure and power be able to outlast Holloway's technical skill and use of range? Is it somehow possible one of these two men can make the other tire out?

No matter how you want to answer these questions currently in your own mind as you make the pick, or what we get answered on Saturday, one thing is for certain:

Don't blink when Gaethje and Holloway are going at it in the Octagon. You'll miss something special.


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