The Bloody Elbow group has filed its predictions for UFC 231, and while everybody who wrote up something chosen Max Holloway over Brian Ortega, entire opinion is rather divided. As for the co-main event, again things are split as to who’ll prevail between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Valentina Shevchenko. It is excellent to have toss-up title fights like these two, isn’t it?
Notice: Predictions are entered throughout the week and gathered the day before the event. Explanations behind each pick are not required and some authors elect not to do this for their own motives. By way of instance, if Phil Mackenzie entered all his predictions on Wednesday without adding in any excuses he has no idea if he is going to be the only one siding with a single fighter for any given fight.
Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega
Anton Tabuena: This is fairly simple to me. With any bizarre health issues, Max Holloway should completely run via Ortega here. Holloway is just better and a lot more dangerous than all the other people Ortega has defeated. This is obviously still MMA and Ortega has shown that he has decent power, but he definitely will not pick apart someone as technically adept as Holloway. I think this will seem a lot like Ortega’s past bouts, but he will take a far worse beating and won’t have the ability to secure that magic comeback. Max Holloway by TKO.
Mookie Alexander: There’s a level of unsustainability into Ortega’s love of completing fights over winning rounds, and Holloway is a masterful rounded winner. I’m obviously assuming we are receiving the best version of Max Holloway, therefore that is the secret here. Ortega has grown tremendously as a striker, but up until this point, Holloway has shown a ridiculous chin and he is likely not the person you want to take part in a high-paced brawl with. Ortega enjoys the jumping guillotine, I suspect Holloway will be prepared for this, and he’s a damn great grappler in his own right. Takedowns are unlikely on either side, and Ortega in particular has revealed himself to be not particularly good at taking his opponents down in the first location. While Ortega is extremely dangerous predicated on what we’ve seen from him in recent fights, I trust Holloway to do more harm and avoid the classic Ortega comeback. Max Holloway by decision.
Zane Simon: Ortega’s struggle against Frankie Edgar was something of a sin. He’s always been tricky, always been reckless, but that has been the very first time that his striking style – assembled around a lot slicker moves and often a lack of basic ones – has appeared like a complete game. He worked behind the jab, feinted, pulled out predictable answers and changed up his entrances to club Frankie to unconsciousness. It was damn pretty. It also means that it is difficult to say how much more improved Ortega might be now. Without seeing more consistency and variety into his game, and without seeing an ability to keep output over multiple hard striking rounds, I need to select Holloway. His ability to push a pace then to up that rate as his opponents tire, his ability to modify targets in conjunction and start up new combinations off sooner, simpler ones, just aren’t abilities that Ortega has shown yet. And Ortega still has a history of dropping rounds he has not completed the fight in. Despite Max’s health scare, most of the queries are on Ortega’s side and most of the replies are around Holloway’s. Max Holloway by choice.
Victor Rodriguez: Neither guy will be looking to take the other down, and Holloway’s clinch match is lethal. Having said this, Ortega’s been a guy I’ve counted out in so many fights, I just feel dumb picking against him. He ought to have a range disadvantage and Max’s frenetic pace should make this hard for him due to volume, but Ortega doesn’t get hit that far and appears to keep finding ways to pull a bunny from his hat. I still want to select Ortega by diving to get a flying armbar in the clinch situation, but that’s a small reckless even for me. 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 damage well and contains a more comprehensive and composed approach to his attacks need to be able to take over as the fight goes on and apply pressure accordingly. Max Holloway by choice.
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