That is how you win the BMF belt.

The timekeeper smacking the clacker, signifying 10 seconds left in the round, in the fight. Max Holloway, having battered Justin Gaethje for a vast majority of the past 24 minutes and 50 seconds of action, strolls to the center of the cage.

Holloway, the former dominant UFC featherweight champion, points to the energy drink can painted across the center of the octagon. The meaning is clear: We’re going to throw down, right here, right now. Gaethje, oh-so-appropriately nicknamed “The Highlight,” knows nothing but to oblige.

There’s really no need for Holloway to do this; just about everyone watching knows Holloway could have run a 10-second victory lap and cruise to a clear and violence-filled decision victory.

But that is not how a BMF does things.

The fists fly furiously, the fresher Holloway winging lefts and rights recklessly, needlessly as Gaethje, his nose busted more than 20 minutes earlier by a gnarly kick, musters all he can to steal a victory.

Gaethje lasts nine seconds. Not 10.

With a cracking overhand right, Holloway plants the former interim UFC lightweight champ into the canvas, sprawled across a can of Monster.

Holloway was the true monster Saturday night, making good on the faith placed in both him and Gaethje to entertain the masses amid a stacked-to-the-gills UFC 300 mega-event in Las Vegas.

It’s not that the BMF belt that Gaethje put on the line holds prestige. Honestly, it’s goofy, even a little cringe, when I say it out loud. Back in 2019 at UFC 244, the UFC lacked a weight class’ championship fight to centerpiece at Madison Square Garden. Solution: Make up a belt and pit a pair of star-level journeyman against each other in Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz.

It was meant as a one-off, and Masvidal indeed never put the belt on the line. Once he’d moved on, enough persistence of the idea of a new BMF belt manifested, well, another BMF belt. Gaethje against Dustin Poirier, likewise a former interim titleholder at 155 pounds, made sense. The six minutes of cage carnage justified the matchup.

But really, fights like that never needed a symbolic trinket with some big goofy letters lifted from the wallet of Jules Winnfield — it was much cooler in “Pulp Fiction,” like Fonzie.

Every fight Holloway takes is a BMF battle.

Every fight Gaethje takes is a BMF battle.

Neither needs a belt, or needs to defend said belt, for that to be true. These are two of the most violent, take-all-comers fighters in UFC history, with elite skill to match.

And that’s why it’s no issue for either to stand toe to toe at the end of an action-packed battle — even Holloway, who didn’t know for certain he was up on two judges’ scorecards through four rounds but had to know he was in a good spot near the end of another strong frame.

Was it dumb for Holloway, who may have locked up yet another featherweight title shot with the victory up in weight, to play Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots with such a big opportunity on the line? Hell yeah, it was.

Does Holloway, The Pride of Hawaii, know another way to fight? Hell no, he doesn’t.

That’s why he’s a BMF. A trophy has nothing to do with that.

2024 © Network Today. All Rights Reserved.