UFC 231: Holloway vs. Ortega staff picks and predictions
The Bloody Elbow team has filed its forecasts for UFC 231, and while everyone who wrote something up picked Max Holloway over Brian Ortega, overall opinion is fairly divided. In terms of the co-main event, again things are split as to who’ll prevail between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Valentina Shevchenko. It’s excellent to have toss-up title fights such as these two, isn’t it?
Notice: Predictions are entered during the week and gathered the day prior to the event. Explanations behind every choice are not required and some writers elect not to do this for their own reasons. For instance, if Phil Mackenzie entered all of his predictions on Wednesday without incorporating in any explanationshe has no idea if he’s going to be the only one siding with one fighter for any given fight.
Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega
Anton Tabuena: This is pretty simple to me. Barring any weird health issues, Max Holloway should fully run via Ortega here. Holloway is just much better and a lot more dangerous than the rest of the folks Ortega has beaten. This is obviously still MMA and Ortega has shown that he has adequate power, but he definitely will not pick apart someone as technically adept as Holloway. I believe this will look a lot like Ortega’s past spells, but he’ll have a much worse beating and will not be able to fix that miracle comeback. Max Holloway by TKO.
Mookie Alexander: There is a level of unsustainability into Ortega’s love of finishing battles over winning rounds, and Holloway is a masterful round winner. I am obviously assuming we are getting the ideal edition of Max Holloway, therefore that is the secret here. Ortega has increased tremendously as a striker, but up until this stage, 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 loves the jumping guillotine, I guess Holloway is going to 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 especially great at shooting down his opponents in the first location. While Ortega is very dangerous predicated on what we’ve seen from him in recent fights, I still trust Holloway to do more harm and prevent the classic Ortega comeback. Max Holloway by unanimous conclusion.
Zane Simon: Ortega’s struggle against Frankie Edgar was something of a revelation. He has always been tricky, always been reckless, but that was the first time his striking fashion – assembled around a lot slicker moves and frequently a lack of basic ones – has looked like a complete game. He worked behind the jab, feinted, pulled out predictable responses and shifted up his entries to club Frankie to unconsciousness. It was damn pretty. Additionally, it means that it is difficult to say just how much more improved Ortega might be now. Without seeing more variety and consistency into his game, and without seeing an ability to keep output multiple hard hitting rounds, I have to select Holloway. His ability to push a speed then to up that pace because his competitors tire, his ability to change targets in conjunction and open up new mixtures off sooner, easier ones, just are not abilities that Ortega has revealed yet. And Ortega still has a history of losing rounds he hasn’t completed the struggle in. Despite Max’s health scare, the majority of the questions are around Ortega’s side and nearly all of the replies are on Holloway’s. Max Holloway by decision.
Victor Rodriguez: Neither man is going to be seeking to take down the other, and Holloway’s clinch game is deadly. Having said that, Ortega’s been a guy I have counted out in so many struggles, I feel dumb picking against him. He should have a range drawback and Max’s frenetic pace should make this difficult for him because of quantity, but Ortega doesn’t get hit that much and seems to keep finding ways to pull a bunny from his hat. I still want to pick Ortega by diving for a flying armbar in the clinch scenario, but that is a little reckless for me personally. And while I am still concerned about the fact that we still don’t understand what health issues Holloway had last time, it would appear that the man that wears harm well and contains a more comprehensive and written approach to his attacks need to be able to take over as the battle continues on and apply pressure accordingly. Max Holloway by choice.
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