Kamaru Usman: Eye pokes ‘altered the outcome’ of Holloway vs Gaethje at UFC 300

Max Holloway secured a monumental victory over Justin Gaethje in a breathtaking showdown at UFC 300, delivering a knockout blow with just one second remaining in the final round. This victory not only crowned him the BMF title holder but also marked his first win in the UFC lightweight division against one of the division’s elite contenders.

The aftermath of the electrifying bout between Holloway and Gaethje reverberated across the internet, with discussions around Holloway’s spectacular knockout dominating headlines in the days following the event. Gaethje had previously won the BMF title at UFC 29 and is a prominent teammate of Usman’s camp based in Colorado.

While the Holloway-Gaethje clash lived up to its lofty expectations, it was not devoid of controversy. The intensity of the match was momentarily halted on two occasions due to Holloway accidentally poking Gaethje in the eyes during their exchanges.

In a recent episode of the Pound 4 Pound podcast, Usman talked about the impact of Holloway’s accidental eye pokes on the course of the match. He emphasized the significance of these incidents, suggesting they could have influenced the outcome of the bout.

Usman remarked, “We can’t shy away from the fact that this man took the kick to the nose. Was it the end of the first round, just seconds left or if not zero time left, took that kick to the nose, which plays a huge, huge part in potentially moving on in the fight because now you can’t breathe the way you want to breathe in that fight.”

“And on top of that, we have to see the two eye pokes. I mean, they were clear-cut legit eye pokes, and it wasn’t that Max was doing it maliciously or on purpose. They happened. These are the type of things that can alter the outcome of a fight.”

In the aftermath of UFC 300, Gaethje displayed sportsmanship in defeat. He refrained from making any excuses for his performance. The loss marked a halt to his two-bout winning streak, including a remarkable head-kick knockout victory over Dustin Poirier.

Although Holloway does not have a substantial history of eye pokes throughout his UFC career, these incidents have gained traction as a controversial issue in recent times.