The Bloody Elbow group has submitted its forecasts for UFC 231, and while everyone who wrote something up chosen Max Holloway over Brian Ortega, overall opinion is fairly divided. As for the co-main event, things are split as to who’ll prevail between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Valentina Shevchenko. It’s good to have toss-up title conflicts such as these two, is not it?
Notice: Predictions are entered during the week and collected the day before the event. Explanations behind every pick aren’t required and some writers elect to not do this for their own motives. By way of example, if Phil Mackenzie entered all of his predictions on Wednesday without incorporating in any explanationshe has no idea if he is likely to be the only one siding with one fighter for any given fight.
Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega
Anton Tabuena: This really is pretty straightforward to me. Barring any weird health difficulties, Max Holloway should completely run via Ortega here. Holloway is just better and a lot more dangerous than the rest of the folks Ortega has beaten. This is obviously still MMA and Ortega has shown that he has decent power, but he definitely will not pick apart someone as technically adept as Holloway. I think this will look a lot like Ortega’s past spells, but he will have a much worse beating and will not be able to secure that miracle comeback. Max Holloway by TKO.
Mookie Alexander: There is a degree of unsustainability into Ortega’s love of finishing fights over winning rounds, and Holloway is a masterful rounded winner. I’m obviously assuming we are getting the ideal edition of Max Holloway, therefore that’s the key here. Ortega has grown tremendously as a striker, but up until this point, Holloway has shown a ridiculous chin and he is probably not the person you need to take part in a high-paced brawl with. Ortega enjoys the leaping 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 specifically has revealed himself to be not particularly good at shooting down his opponents in the first location. While Ortega is very dangerous predicated on what we’ve seen from him lately conflicts, I still trust Holloway to do more damage and prevent the timeless Ortega comeback. Max Holloway by unanimous conclusion.
Zane Simon: Ortega’s fight against Frankie Edgar was something of a revelation. He’s always been always been dangerous, but that was the very first time that his striking fashion – assembled around a lot slicker moves and frequently a lack of basic ones – has looked like a complete game. He worked behind the jab, feinted, pulled out predictable responses and changed up his entrances to club Frankie into unconsciousness. It was damn pretty. It also means that it’s difficult to say how much more improved Ortega could be now. Without seeing more consistency and variety into his game, and without visiting an ability to keep output multiple hard hitting rounds, I have to pick Holloway. His ability to push a pace then to up that rate as his opponents tire, his ability to change aims in combination and open up new combinations off sooner, simpler ones, just aren’t abilities that Ortega has revealed yet. And Ortega still has a history of dropping rounds that he has not completed the fight in. Despite Max’s health scare, the majority of the questions are around Ortega’s side and most of the answers are on Holloway’s. Max Holloway by choice.
Victor Rodriguez: Neither man will be seeking to take down the other, and Holloway’s clinch match is deadly. Having said this, 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 disadvantage and Max’s frenetic pace must make this hard for him due to quantity, but Ortega does not get hit that far and appears to keep finding ways to pull a rabbit out of his hat. I want to pick Ortega by diving to get a flying armbar from a clinch scenario, but that is a small reckless even for me. And while I’m still worried about the fact that we still don’t understand what health concerns Holloway had time, it would appear that the guy that wears harm well and contains a more comprehensive and written approach to his attacks need to be able to take over as the fight continues on and employ pressure so. Max Holloway by decision.