Dana White has announced a massive Baddest Motherf***er (BMF) championship bout between Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje and Max “Blessed” Holloway set for the historic UFC 300 card on April 8th in Las Vegas.
Lead Up to the Superfight
Gaethje claimed the one-of-a-kind BMF belt with a TKO victory over Nate Diaz back at UFC 244 in 2019. He has defended it just once, with a unanimous decision win against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 in May 2020.
The 33-year-old was expected to defend his title again last year, but the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench in those plans. Now that the world is getting back to normal, Gaethje will finally return to action to put his belt on the line.
Originally, it looked like Gaethje could clash with the surging lightweight contender Islam Makhachev. However, Holloway swooped in to inject his name into the conversation by calling out Gaethje on social media.
The former featherweight champion is moving back up to 155 pounds after suffering back-to-back losses against current featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski. Despite the consecutive defeats, Holloway remains one of the top pound-for-pound talents in MMA.
Holloway has never competed for a UFC title at lightweight, but he did put on a Fight of the Year performance against Dustin Poirier in an interim title bout at UFC 236 in 2019.
Many fans and pundits see this is a logical next step for BMF gold rather than having Gaethje face the undefeated Makhachev right now. The showdown between Gaethje and Holloway has “fireworks” and “Fight of the Year” potential written all over it.
Breakdown of the Stylistic Matchup
Gaethje and Holloway share a similar fan-friendly, high-action style inside the Octagon. Both men are known for their incredible chins, endless cardio, lethal striking, and warrior mentalities.
Tale of the Tape:
| Nickname | “The Highlight” | “Blessed”
| Age | 33 | 31 |
| Height | 5’11” | 5’11” |
| Reach | 70” | 69” |
| Stance | Orthodox | Orthodox |
| Record | 23-4 | 23-7 |
| KOs/TKOs | 19 | 11 |
| Submissions | 1 | 1 |
| UFC Titles | – | Former Featherweight Champion |
Gaethje holds dynamite knockout power in both fists. He throws vicious combinations, chopping leg kicks, and thudding body shots. Of his 23 professional MMA wins, 19 have come via KO/TKO. Meanwhile, Holloway sets an insane pace over five rounds, landing creative punching combinations from all angles while mixing in knees and elbows.
On paper, Holloway is the more diverse, technical striker. He switches stances frequently and unleashes lethal salvos. However, Gaethje shouldn’t be overlooked in the skills department, as he showed improved setups in his last few fights. Gaethje also holds Division I All-American wrestling credentials if he opts to mix in takedowns.
This should take place predominantly on the feet given both fighters’ prowess standing up. Strap in for 25 minutes of savage striking exchanges.
UFC Loading Up UFC 300 Card
The BMF title fight joins two other huge matchups recently announced for the milestone UFC 300 pay-per-view lineup.
In the co-main event, heavyweight legend Jon Jones finally makes his divisional debut against reigning UFC champ Francis Ngannou in one of the most anticipated fights in promotional history.
Furthermore, a clash between featherweight studs Yair Rodriguez and Josh Emmett was confirmed to take place at UFC 300 as well.
The event is expected to break company records with a monster card stuffed full of elite talent and title fights. Other names competing at T-Mobile Arena on April 8th include:
- Jim Miller vs. Bobby Green
- Bo Nickal vs. Jamie Pickett
- Laureano Staropoli vs. Roman Kopylov
UFC 300 will commemorate the leader in combat sports holding an astounding 300 pay-per-view events. It figures to be the biggest, most star-studded card ever assembled.
Updated UFC 300 Fight Card
| Francis Ngannou vs. Jon Jones | Heavyweight Title Bout
| Justin Gaethje vs. Max Holloway | BMF Title Bout
| Yair Rodriguez vs. Josh Emmett | Featherweight Bout
| Jim Miller vs. Bobby Green | Lightweight Bout
| Bo Nickal vs. Jamie Pickett | Middleweight Bout
| Laureano Staropoli vs. Roman Kopylov | Welterweight Bout
What This Means for Gaethje, Holloway, and the UFC
This booking confirms Gaethje and Holloway as two of the UFC’s biggest superstar attractions. It also further legitimizes the BMF championship as more than a one-off gimmick.
For Gaethje, defeating an elite foe like Holloway would greatly boost his claim as the baddest man on the planet. It also keeps “The Highlight” active after he fought just once annually the last two years.
As for Holloway, this gives him the chance to cement himself as the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter behind Alexander Volkanovski. It could also set up a trilogy bout against “The Great” with gold on the line.
Meanwhile, the UFC needs to consistently put together massive events like UFC 300 to justify the record-high pricing on pay-per-views and ESPN+ subscriptions. There is no better way to do that than having the two biggest superstars in the sport – Ngannou and Jones – collide on the same night Gaethje defends his BMF strap.
The card value here is exceptional for diehard fans.
What to Expect Going Forward
Should Gaethje beat Holloway, he will have cleaned out all worthy challengers at 155 and 170 pounds. There would be no legitimate threats left outside of a potential grudge match with Conor McGregor. However, it remains doubtful whether “The Notorious” will ever return after suffering three defeats in his last four fights.
The UFC would likely look to book Gaethje against the Makhachev vs. Volkanovski winner later this year. He could also move back up to welterweight again depending on how the title picture plays out in that division.
For Holloway, win or lose, he should drop back down featherweight to run things back with Volkanovski. Their first two title fights resulted in back-and-forth wars that could warrant an immediate trilogy.
Of course, the MMA gods have a funny way of throwing curveballs when laying out plans. But at this point in time, those seem the most logical next steps for the competitors and organization after April’s big show.
Either way, the BMF showdown at UFC 300 between Gaethje and Holloway is an all-out war for the ages in the making.
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