UFC 300: Max Holloway's unbelievable KO sent a pulse through the MMA world

Max Holloway was already a UFC legend. He reached another level of greatness at UFC 300, and every fighter watching knew it.

In the waning seconds of a clinical performance against Justin Gaethje for the ceremonial "BMF" title, Holloway did something he probably shouldn't have done. He pointed to the center of the Octagon and invited Gaethje to go full "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots" for the final 10 seconds.

Both fighters landed some blows, but Holloway finished it with a hard right in the final second that knocked Gaethje out cold.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 13: Max Holloway reacts to his knockout of Justin Gaethje in the BMF championship fight during the UFC 300 event at T-Mobile Arena on April 13, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Max Holloway delivered the Knockout of the Year at UFC 300. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

You could practically see the adrenaline coursing through Holloway's body as he spent the next several seconds unleashing primal screams.

It really needs to be stated outright: Holloway had no reason to do that. He outstruck Gaethje 181-103 over the course of five rounds, including a spinning backheel that potentially broke the veteran lightweight's nose at the end of the first round. It was later revealed that Holloway was indeed up 3-1 on two of the judges' scorecards going into the fifth and final round.

A rational fighter in that position would spend the final 10 seconds doing everything he could to prevent Gaethje, one of the most popular knockout artists in the sport, from getting the one punch he needs to rip victory out of certain defeat.

Holloway didn't care, or perhaps he realized that he needed something special to get the much-wanted $300,000 fight of the night bonus from UFC's highly anticipated card. He ended up demanding $600,000 for a moment that will live on through UFC history.

He also demanded a shot at his old belt against current UFC featherweight champion Ilia Topuria, who was in the crowd and looked just as disturbed as the rest of the crowd reacting to the final blow.

The mood was noticeably subdued in the run-up to the next fight, the co-main event between women's strawweight champion Zhang Weili and challenger Yan Xiaonan. Pretty much everyone there needed a few minutes to settle down.

As for the rest of the UFC's roster, well, they were impressed. And shocked. And reflective. Mixed martial arts exist for moments like Saturday, and you could definitely see the vibe on social media.

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