Former champion believes that illegal strikes directly influenced Holloway's victory over Gaethje

Gaethje's training partner, Kamaru Usman, points to Holloway's eye pokes as crucial to the result

J. Gaethje (left) and M. Holloway (right) after the fight at UFC 300. Photo: Reproduction/Instagram @blessedmma

J. Gaethje (left) and M. Holloway (right) after fight in UFC 300. Photo: Reproduction/Instagram @blessedmma

The BMF belt dispute between Max Holloway e Justin gaethje ended with an incredible victory for the Hawaiian, who knocked out his rival in the last second of the fifth round. In the opinion of Kamaru Usman, former welterweight champion (up to 77,1 kg) and Gaethje's training partner, the result could have been different if it weren't for a series of illegal blows delivered by his opponent.

During a recent edition of his podcast 'Pound 4 Pound', Usman lamented the result of the fight and pointed out the kick delivered by Holloway in the last second of the first round, which broke Gaethje's nose, and two fingers from the former featherweight champion (until 65,7 kg) in the eyes of his rival, as decisive for the Hawaiian's victory at the end of the fifth round.

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“We can't forget that this guy (Gaethje) got kicked in the nose at the end of the first round, with seconds left, if there was any time left. He took that kick to the nose that had a big influence on the rest of the fight, because he couldn't breathe the way he should. Also, we have to see the two fingerprints on the eye. There were clear fingerprints. Not that Max (Holloway) did it out of malice or on purpose. It happens, but it's the kind of thing that changes the outcome of a fight”, pointed out the Nigerian.

With the defeat to Holloway, Justin gaethje he fell from second to third in the lightweight rankings and moved away from a possible title fight in the category.

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