The Bloody Elbow group has filed its forecasts for UFC 231, and while everyone who wrote up something chosen Max Holloway over Brian Ortega, overall opinion is fairly divided. As for the co-main occasion, things are split as to who’ll prevail between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Valentina Shevchenko. It’s good to have toss-up title conflicts like these two, isn’t it?
Note: Predictions are entered throughout the week and gathered the day prior to the event. Explanations behind every choice aren’t required and a few writers elect not to do so for their own motives. For example, if Phil Mackenzie entered all of his predictions on Wednesday without incorporating in any explanations, he has no idea if he is likely 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. Barring any weird health difficulties, Max Holloway should completely run via Ortega here. Holloway is just better and a lot more dangerous than all the other folks Ortega has beaten. That is obviously 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 seem a good deal like Ortega’s past bouts, but he’ll have a much worse beating and will not have the ability to fix that miracle comeback. Max Holloway by TKO.
Mookie Alexander: There’s a degree of unsustainability to Ortega’s love of finishing battles over winning rounds, and Holloway is a masterful round winner. I am obviously assuming we’re getting the ideal edition of Max Holloway, therefore that is the key here. Ortega has grown tremendously as a striker, but up until this point, Holloway has proven a ridiculous chin and he is probably not the person who you need to engage in a high-paced brawl with. Ortega enjoys the jumping guillotine, I suspect Holloway will be ready for this, and he’s a damn good grappler in his very own right. Takedowns are unlikely on either side, and Ortega in particular has shown himself to be not especially great at shooting down his opponents in the first location. While Ortega is very dangerous predicated on what we’ve seen out of him in recent fights, I trust Holloway to do more damage and prevent the timeless Ortega comeback. Max Holloway by unanimous decision.
Zane Simon: Ortega’s fight against Frankie Edgar was something of a revelation. He has always been tricky, always been dangerous, but that was the very first time his striking style – built around a lot slicker moves and frequently a lack of basic ones – has looked like a whole game. He worked behind the jab, feinted, drew out predictable responses and shifted up his entries to club Frankie into unconsciousness. It was damn pretty. Additionally, it means that it is difficult to say just how much more improved Ortega could be now. Without seeing more consistency and variety to his game, and without seeing an ability to keep output over multiple hard striking rounds, I have to select Holloway. His ability to push a speed and then to up that rate as his competitors tire, his ability to change aims in combination and open up new combinations off sooner, simpler ones, just are not skills that Ortega has shown yet. And Ortega still has a background of dropping rounds he hasn’t completed the fight in. Despite Max’s health scare, the majority of the questions are around Ortega’s side and nearly all of the answers are on Holloway’s. Max Holloway by decision.
Victor Rodriguez: Neither man will be seeking to take the other down, and Holloway’s clinch game is lethal. Having said that, Ortega’s been a man I’ve counted out in a lot of struggles, I just feel dumb picking against him. He ought to have a range disadvantage and Max’s frenetic pace should make this difficult for him due to volume, but Ortega doesn’t get hit that much and appears to keep finding ways to pull a bunny out of his hat. I want to pick Ortega by diving to get a flying armbar in the clinch situation, but that is a small reckless for me personally. And while I am still worried about the fact that we don’t understand what health issues Holloway had last time, it seems that the guy that wears harm well and contains a more comprehensive and written approach to his strikes should be able to take over as the fight goes on and apply pressure so. Max Holloway by decision.
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