Max Holloway Says Justin Gaethje Was 1st Fighter To Drop Him In The Octagon

Max Holloway has held a proud record of never being dropped in the Octagon for many years, but he’s now revealed that Justin Gaethje did actually put him down in their instant-classic UFC 300 clash earlier this month, despite the stats saying otherwise.

“It didn’t count as a drop, which is crazy,” Holloway said on The Joe Rogan Experience. “ESPN is posting and saying in however many fights I’m with the UFC, I still didn’t get dropped. That’s some bullshit. Give Justin that one. I’ll take it, but I wouldn’t be a man sitting here and telling you that he didn’t.

“All I remember is getting hit by that punch, and then I sat, and then I came back up. I was like, ‘What the f*ck did he just hit me with? Holy shit. That was a good punch.’ Then when I rewatched it, he hit me right on the top of my dome. I was like, holy smack, brother, this guy smacks. I was fine as soon as I got up, but it was one of those, boom, the legs just give out. I was there, even when I was standing, I was looking at him, but I don’t know how that didn’t count as a drop. I don’t know what they count as a drop, because that was crazy.”

Holloway went on to discuss what was going through his head at the now-legendary moment just 10 seconds before the end of the fight and began swinging for the fences with Gaethje.

“A lot of people are asking me, ‘What’s going through your mind when you’re doing that? You’re up 4-1,’” Holloway said. “I’m like, ‘That was in my mind the whole time. We’re going to 10 seconds.’ I remember it being a minute. I remember my coach yelling, ‘A minute, Max! Stay clean!’ I was like, ‘Hell yeah, 50 more seconds until we go to the center and we’re going to swing.’ He’s like, ‘40 seconds!’ I’m like, ‘Holy shit, this clock is slow. Why is it taking forever?’ He’s counting down, ‘30 seconds.’ Then he’s like, ‘OK, 20 seconds.’

“Right after the 20-second mark, a couple of seconds after, [Gaethje] does his rolling thunder. It pushed me to the point of perfectly circling out and then that’s when I said, ‘Come here. Let’s go here. Let’s throw it.’ Everybody was losing their mind, but to me, this is normal. This is the second time I did it. Of course, the second time I’m doing it, I heard you guys say, ‘The first time was Ricardo, but he ain’t no Justin Gaethje.’ But why not? Why not? If he was to put me out, then so be it. Live by the sword.”

Watch Holloway’s full two-and-a-half hour chat with Rogan below.

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.