The Bloody Elbow team 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. In terms of the co-main occasion, again things are split as to who’ll prevail involving Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Valentina Shevchenko. It is excellent to have toss-up title fights like these two, isn’t it?
Notice: Predictions are entered during the week and gathered the day prior to the event. Explanations behind each choice are not required and some writers opt not to do so for their own motives. For example, if Phil Mackenzie entered all of his predictions on Wednesday without incorporating in any excuses he has no idea if he is likely to be the only one siding with a single fighter for any specific fight.
Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega
Anton Tabuena: This is fairly straightforward to me. Barring any weird health difficulties, Max Holloway should fully run via Ortega here. Holloway is just better and a lot more dangerous than all the other people Ortega has beaten. That is obviously still MMA and Ortega has proven that he has decent power, but he certainly will not pick apart someone as technically adept as Holloway. I believe this will look a good deal like Ortega’s past spells, but he’ll have a far worse beating and will not be able to fix that miracle comeback. Max Holloway by TKO.
Mookie Alexander: There is a degree of unsustainability to Ortega’s love of completing battles over winning rounds, and Holloway is a masterful round winner. I’m obviously assuming we’re getting the best version of Max Holloway, therefore that’s the key here. Ortega has increased tremendously as a striker, but up until this point, Holloway has proven a ridiculous chin and he is probably not the person you want to take part in a high-paced brawl with. Ortega enjoys the jumping guillotine, I guess Holloway is going to be ready for this, and he’s a damn good grappler in his very own right. Takedowns are unlikely on both sides, and Ortega in particular has revealed himself to be not especially great at shooting down his opponents in the first location. While Ortega is extremely dangerous based on what we’ve seen from him lately conflicts, I still trust Holloway to do more harm and prevent the classic Ortega comeback. Max Holloway by conclusion.
Zane Simon: Ortega’s struggle against Frankie Edgar was something of a sin. He’s always been always been reckless, but that has been the first time his striking style – assembled around a lot slicker moves and frequently a lack of fundamental 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 hard to say just how much more improved Ortega could be now. Without seeing more variety and consistency into his game, and without visiting an ability to maintain output over multiple hard striking rounds, I have to pick Holloway. His ability to push a speed then to up that rate because his competitors tire, his ability to change targets in conjunction and open up new mixtures off sooner, easier ones, just aren’t skills that Ortega has revealed yet. And Ortega still has a background of dropping rounds he hasn’t completed the fight in. Even with Max’s health scare, most of the queries are around Ortega’s side and nearly all of the answers are on Holloway’s. Max Holloway by decision.
Victor Rodriguez: Neither guy is going to be seeking to take down the other, and Holloway’s clinch match is deadly. Having said that, Ortega’s been a guy I’ve counted out in so many fights, I just feel stupid picking him against him. He should have a range disadvantage and Max’s frenetic pace must make this difficult for him because of quantity, but Ortega doesn’t get hit that far and seems to keep finding ways to pull a bunny from his hat. I want to pick Ortega by diving for a flying armbar from a clinch scenario, but that is a small reckless for me personally. And while I’m still worried about the fact that we don’t understand what health concerns Holloway had last time, it would appear that the man that wears harm well and has a more complete and composed approach to his strikes need to be able to take over as the battle goes on and apply pressure accordingly. Max Holloway by choice.