The Bloody Elbow group has submitted its forecasts for UFC 231, and while everybody who wrote something up picked Max Holloway over Brian Ortega, entire opinion is rather divided. As for the co-main occasion, things are split as to who’ll prevail involving Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Valentina Shevchenko. It is excellent to have toss-up title conflicts like these two, is not it?
Note: Predictions are entered during the week and gathered the day prior to the event. Explanations behind each choice aren’t required and a few writers opt to not do so for their own motives. For example, if Phil Mackenzie entered all his predictions on Wednesday without adding 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 really is pretty straightforward to me. Barring any weird health issues, Max Holloway should completely run via Ortega here. Holloway is just better and far more dangerous than all the other people Ortega has beaten. This is clearly still MMA and Ortega has proven that he has adequate power, but he certainly will not pick apart someone as technically proficient as Holloway. I believe this will seem a good deal like Ortega’s past spells, but he will take a far worse beating and will not be able to secure that miracle comeback. Max Holloway by TKO.
Mookie Alexander: There is a degree of unsustainability into Ortega’s love of completing fights over winning rounds, and Holloway is a masterful round winner. I am obviously assuming we’re getting the best edition of Max Holloway, therefore that’s the secret here. Ortega has grown tremendously as a striker, but until this point, Holloway has shown a ridiculous chin and he’s likely not the person who you want to take part in a high-paced brawl with. Ortega enjoys the leaping guillotine, I guess Holloway will be ready for that, and he’s a damn great grappler in his very own right. Takedowns are unlikely on both sides, and Ortega in particular has revealed himself to be not particularly good at taking down his opponents in the first place. While Ortega is extremely dangerous predicated on what we’ve seen out of him in recent fights, I trust Holloway to do more damage and avoid 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 always been reckless, but that was the very first time that his striking fashion – built around a lot slicker moves and frequently a lack of basic ones – has looked like a complete game. He worked behind the jab, feinted, drew out predictable answers and shifted up his entrances to club Frankie to unconsciousness. It was damn pretty. Additionally, it means that it’s difficult to say just how much more advanced Ortega might be now. Without seeing more consistency and variety to his game, and without visiting an ability to maintain output over multiple hard striking rounds, I need to pick Holloway. His ability to push a speed and then to up that rate because his competitors tire, his capacity to modify targets in combination and open up new combinations off earlier, easier ones, just are not skills that Ortega has shown yet. And Ortega still has a background of dropping rounds he has not completed the struggle in. Even with Max’s health scare, most of the questions are on Ortega’s side and most of the replies are on Holloway’s. Max Holloway by decision.
Victor Rodriguez: Neither guy will be looking to take down the other, and Holloway’s clinch match is lethal. Having said that, Ortega’s been a guy I have counted out in a lot of fights, I just feel dumb picking against him. He should have a range disadvantage and Max’s frenetic pace should make this difficult for him due to volume, but Ortega does not get hit that much and seems to keep finding ways to pull a rabbit from his hat. I want to pick Ortega by diving to get 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 still don’t know what health issues Holloway had time, it would appear that the man that wears harm well and has a more comprehensive and composed approach to his attacks need to be able to take over as the fight continues on and apply pressure accordingly. Max Holloway by choice.
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