Max Holloway’s point-to-the-canvas UFC 300 moment was deja vu for Ricardo Lamas

If you’re among the masses who thinks the “BMF” title fight earlier this month was one of the greatest fights in history, you might have someone to thank you wouldn’t expect.

When Max Holloway (26-7 MMA, 22-7 UFC) pointed to the canvas to invite Justin Gaethje (25-5 MMA, 8-5 UFC) to swing for the fences in the final 10 seconds at UFC 300, it set in motion what will go down as one of the most dramatic moments in MMA history. Holloway, who already was winning the five-round fight on the scorecards, connected with Gaethje and put him out cold – with one second left in their 25-minute fight.

That it was for the “BMF” title, and between a pair of fighters known for getting into proverbial wars, made it all the more perfect. But one of Holloway’s past opponents wants to flip through the history book for a moment.

When Ricardo Lamas fought Holloway at UFC 199 nearly eight years ago, Holloway did the same thing. He was up on the scorecards, on his way to a sweep, and he pointed at the floor in the closing seconds and started slinging with Lamas. And that, Lamas says, laid the groundwork for the moment that will be etched in MMA history.

“I just want to say you’re welcome to everyone because I was the one that coaxed that moment out of Max Holloway,” Lamas recently told MMA Junkie Radio. “You can listen to Max talk about it. He actually did an interview with Demetrious Johnson, and even though he threw a little shade at me – but he said he loved me, so it’s OK; I love you, too, Max – he was saying that in the third round of our fight, I kept waving him in and waving him in. And then finally in the last 10 seconds, that’s why he decided to point to the ground and give me that chance to duke it out.

“But he made it seem like I did that because I didn’t think we were really fighting. I knew I was down on the scorecards. I knew I was losing that fight. And in my head, in the last half of that third round, I’m like, listen, only chance I’ve got right now is to kind of coax him into a brawl and hopefully I catch him with something, which is what he did to Gaethje. That’s what I was hoping for, but it didn’t work out.”

That win for Holloway was his ninth straight. It led him to an interim featherweight title fight with Anthony Pettis later in 2016, which he won. The next year, he unified the 145-pound title when he knocked out Jose Aldo, and when he beat him again in a rematch he became at the time arguably the best featherweight of all time.

And not that Lamas thinks Holloway wouldn’t have gotten there absent their closing 10 seconds in 2016, but he’s not sure why it doesn’t happen more often.

“We created that epic moment and it took – let’s see, that was 199, so it took 101 UFC pay-per-views to recreate it,” Lamas said. “But they finally did it, and he did the perfect ending to it. I couldn’t think of any better ending to a fight for the ‘BMF’ title than what happened.”

Lamas said a situation like the one he got into with Holloway led to an interesting sensation in the fight, as well.

“It’s definite tunnel vision,” he said. “I didn’t hear the crowd till after, like when we’re done in the end. The bell rang, the crowd kind of erupted, but it’s definitely tunnel vision and there’s not much going through my head except for, ‘I hope I don’t fall down and I hope my punch lands.’

“… I’ll be waiting patiently for my 10 percent finder’s fee for creating that moment with Max. So Max, if you need my address, just hit me up in the DMs and I’ll send it to you.”

Holloway won a Performance of the Night bonus, as well as Fight of the Night, at the historic UFC 300 – on a show at which the bonuses were raised to a symbolic $300,000 each instead of $50,000. His $600,000 in bonuses in one night took him well over the $1 million mark in bonus money in his UFC career.

Lamas had three bonuses in his UFC career, including one for a submission of future lightweight champion Charles Oliveira in his bounce-back from his loss to Holloway. Lamas retired after a 2020 win over Bill Algeo.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie