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Apr 23, 2024 4:23 pm

Justin Gaethje credits Max Holloway: ‘He surprised me in a couple areas’

Justin Gaethje Max Holloway

Justin Gaethje had the momentum in his fight at UFC 300 against Max Holloway — and saw it shift with one kick and one broken nose in the first round.

Gaethje lost to Holloway by knockout in the final second of the five-round lightweight fight in Las Vegas on April 13. And on Monday, Gaethje told “The Dan Le Batard Show” that the first-round spinning back kick that broke his nose put control of the bout in the hands of Holloway.

“It’s a momentum thing, you know? I caught that kick at the end of the first round, broke my nose,” the Arizona-born Gaethje said. “… Momentum’s a hell of a thing to try to get back once you lose it.

“And I think Max did such a good job at gaining that momentum and then keeping that through the fight … He was really good. He surprised me in a couple areas, how patient he was; I thought I was going to be able to pull him into more of a fight, and his patience really threw things off for me.

“And all credit to him for executing like that.”

Gaethje, 35, said on the show that the broken nose — the first he’s suffered in a fight — didn’t have much on impact his breathing.

“I mean, I felt really good in there, you know? I felt amazing in there,” he said. “We worked so hard through this whole camp to be ready for a cardiovascular war, and again, he was much more patient than I thought he was gonna be.”

“Going into the fifth round, I remember thinking: ‘Wow, I’m in really good shape.'”

Holloway, a 32-year-old from Hawaii, now has a 26-7-0 UFC record. Gaethje is 25-5-0.

–Field Level Media

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