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

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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.

MAIN CARD

  • 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

UNDERCARD

  • 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.

MMAMotion Week In Focus #1

International fight week has lived up to expectations once again, we had two great UFC events as two more fighters won The Ultimate Fighter, and the coaches went head to head to decide who would become the baddest man on the planet and obtain the UFC heavyweight title. In this article, I’m going to take you through some of the key highlights of the week and I plan on making this a weekly article to keep everyone updated on whats going on in the world of MMA.

Continue reading “MMAMotion Week In Focus #1”

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”

Breaking News: Max Holloway OUT of UFC 223 – Anthony Pettis targeted as replacement

You would be forgiven for thinking that UFC 223 is cursed.

This morning, during the official weigh ins, the executive director of the New York State Athletic Commission confirmed that Max Holloway had been deemed medically unfit to attend the scales.

There are numerous reports that the UFC have approached Anthony Pettis to step in as a replacement for Holloway. Pettis was originally set to meet Michael Chiesa in a fight which was cancelled following the antics of Conor McGregor in Brooklyn last night.

Prior to the official announcement being made the to media, the news was first reported by Brett Okamoto of ESPN.

Earlier in the morning, Khabib Nurmagomedov successfully weighed in at 154.5 lbs but is now once again without an opponent for his planned lightweight title fight.

More to come.

News: Conor McGregor responds to confirmation he will be stripped of title

UFC president Dana White has again confirmed that he intends to strip Conor McGregor of his lightweight title.

Speaking during last night’s UFC 223 press conference, White made it clear that it will happen on Saturday night once the main event begins. He also confirmed that the only person being stripped will be McGregor. Interim champion Tony Ferguson will retain his title and the number one contender status which accompanies it.

This morning, the outspoken Irishman took to Twitter to respond to the news that he is about to lose the belt he is yet to defend.

During the press conference, White also opened the door for Max Holloway to keep both his UFC featherweight title and the lightweight belt should he successfully end Khabib Nurmagomedov’s 26 fight unbeaten run on Saturday night.

This news will not go down well with McGregor. The self proclaimed ‘Champ Champ’ found himself swiftly stripped of the featherweight belt after defeating Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title at UFC 205.

White’s only stipulation for Holloway holding two titles simultaneously was the Hawaiian being willing and able to fight frequently enough to defend both belts.

White did confirm that McGregor will “100% be back” this year. Whatever the outcome on Saturday, we are still some way from finally resolving the chaos which has reigned at the top of the 155lb division.

News: Conor McGregor responds to UFC 223 main event change

It’s taken almost 24 hours but the inevitable has happened – Conor Mcgregor has finally weighed in with his thoughts on Tony Ferguson pulling out of his planned UFC 223 title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov.

It should come as little surprise to anyone familiar with the Irishman’s theatrics that he hasn’t been subtle in giving his opinion on the situation.

Dana White once again confirmed that the UFC 223 main event, now between featherweight champ Max Holloway and Khabib, will be for the “official” lightweight title. White has insisted numerous times that McGregor will be stripped of the undisputed lightweight championship as soon as the main event officially begins.

McGregor is expected to be present at the Barclaycard Arena in Brooklyn for the fight with long time friend and team mate Artem Lobov fighting on the preliminary card. Prior to the main event change there had been speculation of McGregor confronting the winner in the octagon, setting up a fight later this year.

News: Ferguson out, Holloway in at UFC 223 – Reactions

Sunday April 1st 2018. April Fools Day. A day where almost every MMA fan will have seen at least one post from someone joking that the Ferguson vs Khabib fight had been cancelled for one reason or another. How we all laughed. Then, later that evening, the announcement came.

Tony Ferguson was injured.

He’s been pulled from the card.

This is not an April Fools joke.

No, seriously.

Fans were shocked and frustrated in equal measure. This is the fourth time we’ve been promised this fight and the fourth time it’s been snatched from our grasp. It’s the fight equivillent of the Loch Ness Monster. Destined to always be talked about, but never to be seen.

It is some consolation that we still have an excellent main event taking place. Reigning featherweight king Max Holloway will be stepping up a division on just six days notice to take on the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov.

It was a moment Holloway predicted at the UFC 222/223 press conference in January. Dana White was asked if he would have Eddie Alvarez or someone else lined up incase one of Ferguson or Khabib didn’t make it to the octagon. Holloway immediately piped up claiming he would be more than happy to step in should either fighter be unable to fulfil their contract.

It seems Holloway is as good as his word, taking the fight at just six days notice.

Ferguson posted the following message on his instagram account confirming the news and apologising to all involved.

Despite the previous failed attempts to have the two lightweights meet, it seemed like this time, at last, we would finally get to see the fight we were promised.

Fans, media and fighters all around the world took to social media when they heard the news. Here are some of the highlights.

https://twitter.com/MikeBohnMMA/status/980598902716903424?s=19