UFC 231: Holloway vs. Ortega staff picks and predictions
The Bloody Elbow team has filed its predictions for UFC 231, and while everyone who wrote up something picked Max Holloway over Brian Ortega, entire opinion is fairly divided. As for the co-main event, again things are divided as to who’ll prevail involving Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Valentina Shevchenko. It’s good to have toss-up title fights such as these two, isn’t it?
Notice: 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 opt to not do this for their own reasons. For example, if Phil Mackenzie entered all his predictions on Wednesday without adding in any explanations, 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. Barring any weird health issues, Max Holloway should fully run via Ortega here. Holloway is just better and far more dangerous than the rest of the people Ortega has defeated. That is obviously still MMA and Ortega has shown that he has decent power, but he definitely won’t pick apart someone as technically proficient as Holloway. I think this will seem a good deal like Ortega’s past bouts, but he will have a much worse beating and won’t 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 rounded winner. I’m obviously assuming we are getting the best version of Max Holloway, therefore that is the key here. Ortega has increased tremendously as a striker, but until this point, Holloway has shown a ridiculous chin and he’s likely not the person who you need to take part in a high-paced brawl with. Ortega loves the jumping guillotine, I guess Holloway is going to be prepared for that, and he is a damn good grappler in his own right. Takedowns are unlikely on both sides, and Ortega in particular has revealed himself to be not especially great at shooting his opponents down in the first place. 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 avoid the classic Ortega comeback. Max Holloway by unanimous decision.
Zane Simon: Ortega’s struggle against Frankie Edgar was something of a sin. He has always been always been reckless, but that has been the very first time his striking style – built 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 responses and changed up his entries to club Frankie to unconsciousness. It was damn pretty. Additionally, it means that it is difficult to say how much more advanced Ortega could be now. Without seeing more variety and consistency to his game, and without visiting an ability to keep output multiple hard striking rounds, I have to pick Holloway. His ability to push a pace and then to up that pace as his competitors tire, his capacity to change aims in conjunction and open up new combinations off earlier, simpler ones, just aren’t 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, the majority of the queries are on Ortega’s side and nearly all of the answers are on Holloway’s. Max Holloway by choice.
Victor Rodriguez: Neither guy is going to be looking to take down the other, and Holloway’s clinch game is deadly. Having said that, Ortega’s been a man I’ve counted out in so many fights, I feel stupid picking against him. He ought to have a range drawback and Max’s frenetic pace must make this difficult for him due to volume, but Ortega does not get hit that far and seems to keep finding ways to pull a rabbit from his hat. I still want to select Ortega by diving to get a flying armbar from a clinch scenario, but that’s a small reckless even for me. 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 guy that wears harm well and has a more complete and written approach to his strikes need to have the ability to take over as the battle goes on and employ pressure accordingly. Max Holloway by decision.
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