Betting: UFC 231 Predictions

It is nearly time for the fights and we have last minute predictions to help you beat the bookies.

Max Holloway vs Brian Ortega

holloway ortega

This fight was originally scheduled for UFC 226, a whole five months ago, however due to extremely concerning health risks for Holloway, he was pulled from the fight, which itself was ultimately scrapped when an opponent was not found to face Ortega.

While this itself on paper may seem like a traditional and cliche “Striker vs Grappler” matchup, but both fighters have so much more than that.

Holloway is a rangey striker with quick movement and a ferocious pace. He aims to get in and out of the pocket and land multiple punch combinations while taking little damage. He is also a very good grappler in his own right, scoring submission wins over Cub Swanson and Andre Fili. Submitting him will not be an easy task, even for someone of Ortega’s ability. Holloway will aim to use his range to stay out of any grappling exchanges and his pace to wear down Ortega.

Ortega is an incredibly gifted BJJ specialist with 4 of his 6 official UFC wins coming via submission. Ortega also possesses power which is an underrated aspect of his game. While he may not be the most technically gifted striker, he is still capable of putting guys away on the feet, which we saw with a brutal uppercut against Frankie Edgar, or his flying knee finish over Clay Guida with under 30 seconds left in the fight. His route to victory is simple. Look for the submission at all costs. He will be patient and wait for his opportunity like he did against Cub Swanson.

The biggest question over Max Holloway is whether he is fully fit after his long layoff and if previous weight cut issues will come into play. If they do, it could be a seriously bad night for him. That being said, I believe he will be fit. I believe he will have the striking, speed and footwork advantages in this fight as well the ability to keep a high pace for the entire fight. I believe he avoids the clinch and outboxes Ortega until he gets the win.

Official prediction: Max Holloway def. Brian Ortega via TKO (Round 4)

Valentina Shevchenko vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Look, in my opinion, the odds in his fight are crazy – I certainly make ‘The Bullet” the favourite but I certainly do not believe that she should be as much as a -400 favourite.

While the size difference between the fighters may play a part, I don’t believe Joanna will be undersized by any means. Both are incredible strikers and will have moments in the fight. I believe this fight will remain on the feet for the vast majority of the contest and will simply come down to who will get their opponents respect more often.

While I believe that Joanna is as good of an MMA striker as Shevchenko, I feel that the power of Valentina will just be able to keep Joanna back. Whether the finish will come, that’s hard to tell but unless Joanna has the power to make Schevchenko think twice it could be a bad night.

Joanna needs to be on her A+ game and make essentially no mistakes. She needs to put on a master class. Valentina will have the grappling advantage also and may look for a takedown, but as mentioned I think that she may have a decent power advantage and will look to back up Joanna and land combinations on her way to a unanimous decision victory.

Official prediction: Valentina Shevchenko def. Joanna Jedrzejczyk via DEC

Other main card picks:

  • Gunnar Nelson def Charles Oliveria via TKO (Round 3)
  • Hakeem Dawodu def. Kyle Bochniak via TKO (Round 2).
  • Thiago Santos def. Jimi Manuwa via TKO (Round 2).

Fox Sports 1 Prelims

  • Claudia Gadelha def. Nina Ansaroff via SUB (Round 2)
  • Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Gilbert Burns via SUB (Round 3)
  • Kaitlyn Chookogian def. Jessica Eye via. decision
  • Elias Theodorou def. Eryk Anders via decision.

Fight Pass Prelims

  • Brad Katona def. Matt Lopez via decision.
  • Chad Laprise def. Dhiego Lima via decision.
  • Carlos Diego Ferreira def. Kyle Nelson via SUB (Round 2).
  • Aleksander Rakic def. Devin Clarke via TKO (Round 3)



Live Results: UFC 231 – Holloway vs. Ortega

8th December 2018, Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Canada – UFC 231 is set to go down and has been highly anticipated for the technical quality of the main card.

In the main event, featherweight champion Max Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) will defend his featherweight title, as well as his 12 fight winning streak against unbeaten challenger Brian Ortega (14-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC). Holloway, who faced questions about whether he would make weight heading into the event, was 144.5 pounds. Ortega was a quarter-pound more at 144.75.

In the co-feature, Valentina Shevchenko (15-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) takes on former women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) for the vacant women’s flyweight title. Shevchenko was well under at 1235.5 pounds, as was Jedrzejczyk at 123.75.

MMAMotion will be live on Twitter with all of the play-by-plays and the results will be updated below as they happen. Give us a follow and join the conversation.


  • Max Holloway def. Brian Ortega via Doctor’s Stoppage (Round 4)
  • Valentina Shevchenko def. Joanna Jedrzejczyk via Unanimous Decision (49-46 x3)
  • Gunnar Nelson def. Alex Oliveira via 2nd Round Submission (RNC)
  • Hakeem Dawodu vs. Kyle Bochniak via Split Decision (29-28 x2)
  • Thiago Santos def. Jimi Manuwa via 2nd Round KO


  • Nina Ansaroff def. Claudia Gadelha via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)
  • Jessica Eye def. Katlyn Chookagian via Split Decision (29-28 x2)
  • Elias Theodorou def. Eryk Anders via (Split Decision 29-28 x2)
  •  Gilbert Burns def. Olivier Aubin-Mercier via Unanimous Decision (30-27 x2, 29-28)
  • Aleksandar Rakic def. Devin Clark via Round 1 TKO
  • Brad Katona def. Matthew Lopez via Third Round Submission (RNC)
  • Dhiego Lima def. Chad Laprise via Round 1 KO
  • Diego Ferreira def. Kyle Nelson via Round 2 TKO

Analysis: The story behind the UFC 231 main event


On December 8th, in Toronto, Canada, the long-awaited Featherweight Championship match up between the ultra-talented Champion Max Holloway and BJJ expert Brian Ortega will finally happen.

The Champion was scheduled to defend his title against longtime top contender Frankie Edgar before being forced to pull out with a leg injury. Ortega then stepped in on short notice, only to shock the world and cement his spot as #1 contender. Most didn’t think it was the smartest idea for the young gun going up against a very experienced and elite fighter on three weeks notice.

We thought, if T-City wins this, it’s going to be a submission; Frankie is a BJJ black belt under Ricardo Almeida but it’s clear Brian’s BJJ is the elite of the elite, no one could see him outpointing Edgar, and didn’t expect him to submit him, we just were thinking that’s his only shot. He comes out and gets a KO late in round 1 with a series of vicious uppercuts.

After that, Max tried to step in on a week notice to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov for the Lightweight Championship when Tony Ferguson pulled out with a freak accident knee injury but was forced by the commission to withdraw from the bout because of the weight cut.

The pair was then supposed to meet at UFC 226 until Holloway was forced to withdraw due to concussion-like symptoms. The last three fights Max Holloway has been scheduled for, he hasn’t been able to show up, unfortunately.

Now we should finally be able to watch this high-level match up once and for all. Since each of them came to the UFC, we all expected big things from them. Each were world champions before joining the big show. Max Holloway won the X-1 lightweight championship over five rounds in his third pro fight, and T-City won both the RTC and RFA Featherweight titles in five-round fights and defended the RTC title once with a triangle choke victory.

Max came to the UFC in 2012 when he was 19 years old at 4-0 to fill in for Ricardo Lamas against Dustin Poirier; and though he lost that fight, by first-round submission at that, we seen very good striking, he looked like a very seasoned fighter, even as an adolescent. Each of his opponents had a wealth of experience over him before joining the UFC.

Ortega’s UFC debut was a little more anticipated. He was supposed to fight TUF 14 winner Diego Brandao in his debut, however, Diego withdrew, and Brian was also taken off the card due to how late the injury occurred. Two months later he came in and steamrolled Mike De La Torre and got a rear naked choke victory in under two minutes. It was soon overturned due to a failed drug test, he got a nine-month suspension and came back a little over ten months later to fight a long time veteran Thiago Tavares in a tough back and forth war before getting the finish late in round three by TKO.

His next three fights looked pretty similar, back and forth wars until he stops them, submitting two high-level black belts Diego Brandao, and Renato Moicano and KO’ing the very durable Clay Guida with a beautifully timed knee with only 20 seconds left on the clock.

After his four third-round finishes, he submits another BJJ black belt in Cub Swanson in round 2, then shocks the world with his first-round KO of the modern day MMA Rocky, Frankie Edgar, becoming the first man to ever stop him.

Max Holloway’s UFC career was a little rockier at the start, after losing his debut, he wins three in a row before his next loss. At 7-1 he goes in to fight TUF 14 finalist Dennis Bermudez, and loses a very tough split decision.

I for one didn’t understand how two judges gave that fight to Bermudez, and still don’t. Then he fought Conor McGregor and lost a unanimous decision in a fight both guys got injured in.

Since then, he hasn’t lost a fight and is on a 12 fight win streak with 9 finishes.

The fight that really let us know he’s a top level elite fighter was when he stepped in to fight Cub Swanson, most thought it was too early for a top guy like that; he passed with flying colours and dominated him up until the late submission win.

Three fights and three wins later, he fought former WEC and UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis for the interim featherweight championship and became the first person to ever finish him. He then unified the title with Jose Aldo, winning via TKO in round 3, then rematched him and had the same result. People talk about T-City’s third round finishes, but Max actually has more, he has six, Ortega has five, four in the UFC. Ortega has some of the most opportunistic and skilful BJJ any of us have ever seen, and an ever improving stand up game.

When asked about his cardio, his coach Rener Gracie said his cardio isn’t really the best, not that it’s bad but he does get tired, he just knows how long is left on the clock and knows what he needs to do to get the finish. I’d say aside from the Jose Aldo vs Chad Mendes fights, Aldo vs Conor, and Aldo vs Holloway, this is the highest level match up featherweight has ever had.

Both guys are so elite at what they do, it’s going to be a war! We just need to pray that these next few days go accordingly for Max.

Opinion: UFC 231 Pre-Fight Analysis – Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega

With Max Holloway set to defend the UFC featherweight title against Brian Ortega this weekend, it’s time to take an in-depth look at how the two stars match up.

For my fight analysis, I’ll cover a multitude of variables for each fighter and how they’ll clash, while trying to avoid putting you to sleep while I do it.

Continue reading “Opinion: UFC 231 Pre-Fight Analysis – Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega”

What’s Next For Cris Cyborg And The Other UFC 222 Winners?

UFC 222 is in the books and the main card delivered some fantastic fights. Ketlen Vieira, Sean O’Malley and Brian Ortega maintained their undefeated records, Andrei Arlovski proved he still has some gas in the tank and Cris Cyborg once again proved untouchable at 145lbs.

Let’s take a look at what could be next for each of the main card winners.

Ketlen Vieira (10-0-0)

UFC 222 Viera

Ketlen “Fenomeno” Vieira extended her undefeated streak to 10 fights with a confusing split decision victory over “Alpha” Cat Zingano. Vieira dominated the fight from start to finish as she looked to make her case for a title shot in the near future.

With Raquel Pennington looking likely to miss out on her rumoured title bout with champion Amanda Nunes, a match up between Vieira and Pennington to establish a number one contender seems like a good fit. Both fighters are carrying 4 fight UFC win streaks and while Pennington hasn’t fought since November 2016, she would still represent the stiffest test of Vieira‘s career.

Andrei Arlovski (27-15-0, 1 n/c)

MMA: UFC 222-Struve vs Arlovski

Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski rolled back the years with an impressive decision victory over top 10 contender Stefan Struve. The win gives Arlovski his second successive victory putting his previous 5 fight losing streak firmly in the rear view mirror.

A rematch with number 9 ranked heavyweight Marcin Tybura who handed Arlovski his last loss would give The Pitbull an opportunity to show that he has truely evolved as a fighter over the last year. His display against Struve showed new aspects to his game with Arlovski landing more take downs in this fight than in the rest of his UFC career combined. It seems you really can teach an old dog new tricks. A second bout with Tybura would give the 40 year old former champion the perfect platform to prove that is the case.

Sean O’Malley (10-0-0)

UFC 222 OMalley

In a gutsy performance, “Sugar” Sean O’Malley hung on despite a serious looking foot injury to claim a decision victory against Andre Soukhamthath. Sugar Sean dominated the fight for the first two and a half rounds, displaying noticeable improvements since his last bout in December 2017. For the final two and a half minutes, O’Malley fought on one leg, at one stage hopping up and down while still firing punches at Soukhamthath.

O’Malley has the personality, skills and toughness to go a long way in the batamweight division and naturally, people have been getting a little carried away with calls to push him into a fight against a ranked opponent.

I’m a firm believer in taking your time with prospects and Sean is no exception to that. He is undoubtedly talented and has an extremely bright future. At just 23 years old, why rush things? At a perfect 10-0, it would be beneficial to see O’Malley test himself against someone with experience in his third UFC fight. Iuri Alcantara would provide an appropriate test for the young prospect. With a record of 35-9-0 with 1 no contest, Alcantara certainly ticks the experienced box and would give “Sugar” Sean a chance to prove he is ready for the next step before being rushed into a fight against someone in the top 15.

Brian Ortega (14-0-0, 1 n/c)

UFC 222 Ortega

With just three weeks preparation, Brian “T-City” Ortega achieved something that 27 other fighters have tried and failed to do. He stopped Frankie Edgar. In the first round no less. Ortega is often celebrated for his outstanding Jiu Jitsu but in this instance it was his calm, patient boxing which delivered him a stunning victory. Ortega retained his unbeaten record and added another huge scalp to his list of victims.

There is no point in beating around the bush here. There is only one fight which makes sense for T-City. His next fight has to be against reigning featherweight champion Max Holloway. Originally scheduled to defend his strap against Edgar at UFC 222, Holloway sustained a leg injury which ultimately ruled him out. With Ortega beating Edgar in dominant fashion, he absolutely deserves the next crack at the belt. Undefeated in 14 fights, Ortega will take a 6 fight UFC win streak into the fight to go with Holloway’s 12 fight UFC win streak. It has all the makings of an incredible fight and my hope is that this kicks off a rivalry which can follow these two around for many years to come.

Cris Cyborg (20-1-0, 1 n/c)

UFC 222 Cyborg

Once again, Cris Cyborg proved she is without equal at featherweight. Cyborg saved the show following an injury to Max Holloway by taking the fight on short notice against Invicta bantamweight champion, Yana Kunitskaya. Cyborg took little time in establishing her striking dominance and picked up her 17th TKO win 3 and a half minutes into the opening round.

Prior to Cyborg confirming she would be facing Kunitskaya at UFC 222, Amanda Nunes was pushing for an opportunity to step up a weight class and challenge Cyborg. The featherweight champion was initially reluctant to face off with a fellow Brazilian, however in her post fight interview she appeared to have had a change of heart.

“I am waiting for Amanda now,” said Cyborg. “She called me out, and I want to fight her. I just want to remind everyone that she called me out, and when you call out Cyborg, Cyborg will answer.”

UFC president Dana White confirmed that this is the match up he wants to see next.

“The fight to make is her and Nunes,” White said. “She wants the fight, Nunes wants the fight, I want the fight, and I’m sure the fans want the fight.”

With all parties now on board with the fight, we can look forward to finding out if Nunes has what it takes to end Cyborg’s 20 fight win streak later this year.