The Bloody Elbow group has submitted its forecasts for UFC 231, and while everybody who wrote something up chosen Max Holloway over Brian Ortega, overall opinion is rather divided. As for the co-main occasion, things are split as to who’ll prevail between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Valentina Shevchenko. It is excellent to have toss-up title conflicts like these two, isn’t it?
Notice: Predictions are entered throughout the week and gathered the day prior to the event. Explanations behind each pick aren’t required and some writers elect not to do so for their own motives. For example, if Phil Mackenzie entered all of his predictions on Wednesday without adding in any explanationshe has no idea if he is going to be the only one siding with one fighter for any given fight.
Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega
Anton Tabuena: This is pretty straightforward to me. With any bizarre health issues, Max Holloway should fully run via Ortega here. Holloway is just better and a lot more dangerous than the rest of the folks Ortega has defeated. This is obviously still MMA and Ortega has shown that he has adequate power, but he definitely will not pick apart someone as technically proficient as Holloway. I think this will look a good deal like Ortega’s past spells, but he’ll take a much worse beating and will not be able to secure that magic comeback. Max Holloway by TKO.
Mookie Alexander: There’s a level of unsustainability to Ortega’s love of finishing fights over winning rounds, and Holloway is a masterful round winner. I’m obviously assuming we’re receiving the ideal edition of Max Holloway, so that is the secret here. Ortega has increased tremendously as a striker, but until this stage, Holloway has shown a ridiculous chin and he’s likely not the person who you want to take part in a high-paced brawl with. Ortega loves the leaping guillotine, I guess Holloway is going to be prepared for this, and he’s a damn great grappler in his own right. Takedowns are unlikely on both sides, and Ortega specifically has revealed himself to be not particularly great at shooting his opponents down in the first place. While Ortega is very dangerous based on what we’ve seen out of him lately conflicts, I still trust Holloway to do more damage and avoid the classic Ortega comeback. Max Holloway by unanimous conclusion.
Zane Simon: Ortega’s fight against Frankie Edgar was something of a sin. He’s always been always been dangerous, but that was the first time his striking style – assembled around a lot slicker moves and frequently a lack of fundamental ones – has appeared like a complete game. He worked behind the jab, feinted, pulled out predictable responses and shifted up his entries to club Frankie to unconsciousness. It was damn pretty. Additionally, it suggests that it is hard to say how much more advanced Ortega could be now. Without seeing more consistency and variety to his game, and without visiting an ability to keep output multiple hard hitting rounds, I need to select Holloway. His ability to push a speed then to up that rate because his opponents tire, his ability to change aims in conjunction and open up new combinations off sooner, simpler ones, just aren’t skills that Ortega has shown yet. And Ortega still has a history of dropping rounds that he hasn’t finished the fight in. Even with Max’s health scare, the majority of the queries are on Ortega’s side and most of the answers are on Holloway’s. Max Holloway by choice.
Victor Rodriguez: Neither guy will be looking to take the other down, and Holloway’s clinch match is lethal. Having said this, Ortega’s been a man I have counted out in so many fights, I feel stupid picking against him. He should have a range disadvantage and Max’s frenetic pace must make this hard for him because of volume, but Ortega doesn’t get hit that far and appears to keep finding ways to pull a bunny from his hat. I still want to select Ortega by diving to get a flying armbar in the clinch situation, but that is a little reckless for me personally. And while I’m still worried about the fact that we still don’t know what health concerns Holloway had last time, it seems that the guy that wears damage well and has a more complete and composed approach to his attacks should have the ability to take over as the battle continues on and employ pressure so. Max Holloway by choice.
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