The Bloody Elbow group has filed its predictions for UFC 231, and while everybody who wrote up something chosen Max Holloway over Brian Ortega, overall opinion is fairly divided. As for the co-main occasion, things are divided as to who will prevail involving Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Valentina Shevchenko. It’s good to have toss-up title conflicts like these two, isn’t it?
Note: Predictions are entered throughout the week and gathered the day prior to the event. Explanations behind each choice aren’t required and a few 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 adding in any explanations, he has no idea if he’s likely to be the only one siding with one fighter for any specific fight.
Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega
Anton Tabuena: This really is pretty simple to me. With any bizarre health difficulties, Max Holloway should fully run via Ortega here. Holloway is just better and far more dangerous than the rest of the folks Ortega has beaten. This is obviously still MMA and Ortega has proven that he has decent power, but he certainly won’t pick apart someone as technically adept as Holloway. I think this will seem a good deal like Ortega’s past bouts, but he’ll take a far worse beating and won’t be able to secure that magic comeback. Max Holloway by TKO.
Mookie Alexander: There’s a level of unsustainability into Ortega’s love of finishing battles over winning rounds, and Holloway is a masterful rounded winner. I am obviously assuming we’re 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 who you want to engage in a high-paced brawl with. Ortega loves the jumping guillotine, I suspect Holloway is going to be prepared for this, and he is a damn great grappler in his own right. Takedowns are unlikely on both sides, and Ortega specifically has revealed himself to be not especially good at shooting his opponents down in the first place. While Ortega is very dangerous predicated on what we’ve seen out of him lately conflicts, I trust Holloway to do more harm and avoid the timeless Ortega comeback. Max Holloway by conclusion.
Zane Simon: Ortega’s struggle against Frankie Edgar was something of a revelation. He has always been tricky, always been dangerous, but that has been the first time that his striking style – assembled around a lot slicker moves and often a lack of fundamental ones – has looked like a complete game. He worked behind the jab, feinted, pulled out predictable answers and shifted up his entries to club Frankie into unconsciousness. It was damn pretty. Additionally, it means that it’s hard to say how much more advanced Ortega might be now. Without seeing more variety and consistency into his game, and without seeing an ability to keep output multiple hard hitting rounds, I need to select Holloway. His ability to push a pace then to up that pace as his opponents tire, his ability to change aims in combination and open up new combinations off earlier, easier ones, just are not skills that Ortega has shown yet. And Ortega still has a background of losing rounds that he has not finished the struggle in. Even with Max’s health scare, the majority of the queries are around Ortega’s side and nearly all of the replies are on Holloway’s. Max Holloway by choice.
Victor Rodriguez: Neither man will be looking to take the other down, and Holloway’s clinch game is lethal. Having said this, Ortega’s been a guy I’ve counted out in a lot of struggles, I just feel dumb picking against him. He should have a range drawback and Max’s frenetic pace should make this difficult for him due to quantity, but Ortega does not get hit that much and seems to keep finding ways to pull a bunny out of his hat. I still want to pick Ortega by diving for a flying armbar in the clinch scenario, but that’s a small reckless for me personally. And while I’m still concerned about the fact that we don’t understand what health concerns Holloway had last time, it would appear that the guy that wears harm well and contains a more comprehensive and composed approach to his strikes should have the ability to take over as the battle goes on and apply pressure accordingly. Max Holloway by choice.