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

Opinion: Shevchenko vs. Jedrzejczyk – What Will Go Down?

Our first of two title fights this weekend at UFC 231 in Toronto, sees two of the most technical strikers in women’s mixed martial arts history clash for the vacant flyweight title as former professional Muay Thai foes, Valentina Shevchenko and Joanna Jedrzejczyk meet.

Shevchenko acts as the welcoming party for Joanna who makes her division return after two straight defeats to Rose Namajunas at strawweight and a decision win over Tecia Torres, while ‘Bullet’ Valentina made the drop to flyweight from bantamweight after a rematch loss to Amanda Nunes. Kyrgyzstan native Shevchenko was tipped to reign supreme at 125lbs and exacted a brutal first and second round beat down on Brazilian newcomer Priscila Cachoeira at the beginning of the year to earn an immediate title shot.

Despite this being the first time these women have clashed in mixed-martial arts competition, they are more than familiar with each other’s striking pedigree – Shevchenko picked up two decision victories over the Pole during they’re Muay Thai careers back in 2007.

A seamless transition to MMA displayed Valentina’s incredible striking and distance management to a wider audience and earmarked her as a potential world champion. Notable wins against the likes of former Bantamweight queen Holly Holm, top contender Julianna Pena and a one-sided victory over Cachoeira flaunted leaps in her grappling. The Judo black belt scored multiple takedowns over Holm and submitted both Pena and Priscila and landed her trademark counter right hand at will, something the more aggressive volume striker Jedrzejczyk must be wary of.

Before her first-round knockout defeat to ‘Thug’ Rose Namajunas back in 2017, Joanna was regarded as one of the most formidable forces in Octagon history. An undefeated 14-0 pressure fighter who had dispatched each and every one of her opponents with relative ease, this undefeated record led to some considerable bravado and almost a feeling of invincibility, something Namajunas exploited.

On paper, Joanna was expected to steamroll Rose but was dropped twice in the exchanges of a frantic paced first round and in a mere three minutes, her Strawweight throne was over. A redemption story followed a much more collected Jedrzejczyk into her rematch with ‘Thug’ Rose and despite a much-improved showing, she lost a close decision to Namajunas. An incensed Joanna was convinced she regained her crown and disagreed with the judge’s unanimous decision ruling. Tecia Torres was next in line for Jedrzejczyk and despite some cagey exchanges, Joanna scored a three round decision win.

Olsztyn native Jedrzejczyk has made the 125lbs limit before, amassing a 5-0 record at the weight and a return to Flyweight will more than likely benefit Joanna, with her well-documented struggle to meet the Strawweight limit leaving her compromised, although it would be hard to notice given her dominance over the division for such a long time.

Shevchenko is the better grappler in this one but Joanna has been tested before in wrestling exchanges and has come out on top. Joanna’s pace pushing, volume striking style could bare the key to Valentina’s success with her distance control and counter striking ability second to none. Expect a highly significant and total strike count come to the culmination of this one with Valentina landing quickest.

Valentina Shevchenko via unanimous decision. 

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.

Report: Joanna Jedrzejczyk will face Valentina Shevchenko for flyweight title

While Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov deservedly took center stage in New York last night with the Irishman stealing the majority of the headlines, following the event Dana White dropped a bombshell, announcing the addition of a huge flyweight title contest to UFC 231.

Continue reading “Report: Joanna Jedrzejczyk will face Valentina Shevchenko for flyweight title”

News: Strawweights clash at UFC 231 as Claudia Gadelha faces Nina Ansaroff

The UFC have officially added a high stakes strawweight battle to an already strong UFC 231 card.

American Top Team’s Nina Ansaroff (9-5-0) will face her biggest challenge yet as she squares off with two time 115lb title challenger Claudia Gadelha (16-3-0) when the promotion rolls in to Toronto later this year.

Continue reading “News: Strawweights clash at UFC 231 as Claudia Gadelha faces Nina Ansaroff”

The Week In Motion: UFC fight announcements round up (20th-24th August)

With the UFC heading into the fourth quarter of it’s twenty fifth anniversary year, the final fight cards of this landmark year are beginning to fill up with entertaining match ups from main events down to the prelims. This week alone there have been a huge number of fight announcements.

As we approach the end of what has been a busier than average week for UFC matchmakers Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard, I’ve summarised all of the confirmed fight announcements below in the first edition of ‘The Week In Motion’.

Continue reading “The Week In Motion: UFC fight announcements round up (20th-24th August)”