The Bloody Elbow group has filed its predictions for UFC 231, and while everybody who wrote something up picked Max Holloway over Brian Ortega, entire opinion is fairly divided. In terms of the co-main occasion, again things are divided as to who’ll prevail between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Valentina Shevchenko. It is excellent to have toss-up title fights such as these two, isn’t it?
Notice: Predictions are entered throughout the week and collected the day before the event. Explanations behind every choice aren’t required and a few writers elect to not do this for their own reasons. For example, if Phil Mackenzie entered all his predictions on Wednesday without incorporating in any excuses , he has no idea if he is going to be the only one siding with one fighter for any given fight.
Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega
Anton Tabuena: This really is pretty straightforward to me. With any bizarre health difficulties, Max Holloway should fully run through Ortega here. Holloway is just much better and far more dangerous than the rest of the people Ortega has defeated. This is clearly still MMA and Ortega has shown that he has adequate power, but he definitely will not pick apart someone as technically proficient as Holloway. I think this will look a good deal like Ortega’s past bouts, but he will have a much worse beating and won’t be able to fix that magic comeback. Max Holloway by TKO.
Mookie Alexander: There’s a degree of unsustainability to Ortega’s love of finishing fights over winning rounds, and Holloway is a masterful round winner. I’m obviously assuming we’re receiving the best version of Max Holloway, therefore that is the secret here. Ortega has grown tremendously as a striker, but until this stage, Holloway has shown a ridiculous chin and he is probably not the person you want to engage in a high-paced brawl with. Ortega loves the leaping guillotine, I guess Holloway will be prepared for this, and he’s a damn good grappler in his own right. Takedowns are unlikely on either side, and Ortega specifically has shown himself to be not particularly good at taking down his opponents in the first location. While Ortega is extremely dangerous predicated on what we’ve seen out of him in recent conflicts, I still trust Holloway to do more damage and avoid the classic Ortega comeback. Max Holloway by decision.
Zane Simon: Ortega’s fight against Frankie Edgar was something of a sin. He has always been tricky, always been dangerous, but that was the first time his striking style – built around a lot slicker moves and often a lack of basic ones – has looked like a complete game. He worked behind the jab, feinted, pulled out predictable answers and changed up his entrances to club Frankie into unconsciousness. It was damn pretty. It also suggests that it is hard to say how much more improved Ortega might be now. Without seeing more variety and consistency to his game, and without visiting an ability to keep output over multiple hard hitting rounds, I have to select Holloway. His ability to push a speed and then to up that rate as his opponents tire, his ability to change aims in conjunction and start up new mixtures off earlier, easier ones, just are not abilities that Ortega has revealed yet. And Ortega still has a history of dropping rounds that he has not completed the struggle in. Even with Max’s health scare, most of the questions are around Ortega’s side and most of the replies are around Holloway’s. Max Holloway by decision.
Victor Rodriguez: Neither man is going to be looking to take the other down, and Holloway’s clinch game is lethal. Having said this, Ortega’s been a man I have counted out in so many struggles, I feel dumb picking him against him. He should have a range drawback and Max’s frenetic pace must make this difficult for him due to volume, but Ortega doesn’t get hit that far and appears to keep finding ways to pull a bunny out of his hat. I still want to pick Ortega by diving for a flying armbar from a clinch situation, but that’s a small reckless for me personally. And while I’m still concerned about the fact that we still don’t know what health concerns Holloway had last time, it would appear that the man that wears damage well and contains a more comprehensive and written approach to his attacks need to have the ability to take over as the battle goes on and apply pressure accordingly. Max Holloway by decision.
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