UFC 231: Holloway vs. Ortega staff picks and predictions


The Bloody Elbow team has filed its forecasts for UFC 231, and while everybody who wrote something up picked Max Holloway over Brian Ortega, overall opinion is fairly divided. As for the co-main event, things are divided as to who will prevail involving Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Valentina Shevchenko. It is excellent to have toss-up title fights such as these two, isn’t it?
Note: Predictions are entered throughout the week and gathered the day before the event. Explanations behind each choice are not required and a few writers opt to not do so for their own reasons. By way of example, 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 a single fighter for any given fight.
Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega
Anton Tabuena: This really is fairly straightforward to me. Barring any weird health issues, Max Holloway should completely run through 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 certainly will not pick apart someone as technically proficient as Holloway. I think this will look a lot like Ortega’s past spells, but he’ll have a much worse beating and will not have the ability to secure that miracle comeback. Max Holloway by TKO.
Mookie Alexander: There is a level of unsustainability into Ortega’s love of completing fights over winning rounds, and Holloway is a masterful rounded winner. I am obviously assuming we are receiving the best edition of Max Holloway, therefore that is the key here. Ortega has increased tremendously as a striker, but up until this point, Holloway has shown a ridiculous chin and he is likely not the person you need to take part in a high-paced brawl with. Ortega loves the jumping guillotine, I suspect Holloway will be prepared for that, and he’s a damn great grappler in his own right. Takedowns are improbable on both sides, and Ortega in particular has shown himself to be not particularly great at shooting down his opponents in the first place. While Ortega is very dangerous based on what we’ve seen out of him lately conflicts, I trust Holloway to do more harm and prevent the timeless Ortega comeback. Max Holloway by decision.
Zane Simon: Ortega’s fight against Frankie Edgar was something of a revelation. He’s always been tricky, always been reckless, but that was the very first time that his striking style – assembled around a lot slicker moves and frequently a lack of basic ones – has appeared like a complete game. He worked behind the jab, feinted, pulled out predictable answers and shifted up his entrances to club Frankie to unconsciousness. It was damn pretty. Additionally, it suggests that it is difficult to say how much more advanced Ortega could 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 as his opponents tire, his capacity to modify aims in combination and open up new combinations off earlier, simpler ones, just aren’t abilities that Ortega has revealed yet. And Ortega still has a background of dropping rounds that he hasn’t completed the struggle in. Even with Max’s health scare, the majority 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 the other down, and Holloway’s clinch match is lethal. Having said that, Ortega’s been a man I’ve counted out in so many struggles, I feel stupid picking him against him. He ought to have a range disadvantage and Max’s frenetic pace must make this hard for him because of volume, but Ortega does not get hit that much and seems to keep finding ways to pull a rabbit from his hat. I still want to pick Ortega by diving to get a flying armbar from a clinch situation, but that’s a little reckless even for me. And while I’m still worried about the fact that we don’t understand what health issues Holloway had last time, it seems that the guy that wears damage well and contains a more comprehensive and composed approach to his attacks should have the ability to take over as the battle continues on and apply pressure accordingly. Max Holloway by choice.

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