UFC 231: Holloway vs. Ortega staff picks and predictions
The Bloody Elbow team has submitted its forecasts for UFC 231, and while everyone who wrote up something picked Max Holloway over Brian Ortega, entire opinion is rather divided. As for the co-main event, things are split as to who will prevail between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Valentina Shevchenko. It’s good to have toss-up title fights such as these two, is not it?
Notice: Predictions are entered during the week and gathered the day before the event. Explanations behind each pick aren’t required and a few writers elect not to do this for their own motives. By way of instance, 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 specific fight.
Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega
Anton Tabuena: This is fairly straightforward to me. With any bizarre health difficulties, Max Holloway should completely run through Ortega here. Holloway is just better and far more dangerous than all the other folks Ortega has beaten. This is obviously still MMA and Ortega has shown that he has adequate 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 bouts, but he will take a far worse beating and won’t be able to fix that magic comeback. Max Holloway by TKO.
Mookie Alexander: There is a degree of unsustainability into Ortega’s love of finishing battles over winning rounds, and Holloway is a masterful round winner. I’m obviously assuming we’re getting the best edition of Max Holloway, so that’s the secret here. Ortega has increased tremendously as a striker, but until this stage, Holloway has proven a ridiculous chin and he is likely not the person you need to take part in a high-paced brawl with. Ortega enjoys the jumping guillotine, I suspect Holloway will be prepared for that, and he’s a damn good grappler in his own right. Takedowns are improbable on both sides, and Ortega in particular has shown himself to be not especially great at taking down his opponents in the first place. While Ortega is very dangerous predicated on what we’ve seen from him in recent conflicts, I still trust Holloway to do more damage and prevent the timeless Ortega comeback. Max Holloway by decision.
Zane Simon: Ortega’s fight against Frankie Edgar was something of a revelation. He’s always been always been reckless, but that has been the very first time his striking style – built around a lot slicker moves and frequently a lack of basic ones – has looked like a whole game. He worked behind the jab, feinted, pulled out predictable answers and changed up his entrances to club Frankie to unconsciousness. It was damn pretty. Additionally, it means that it is hard to say just how much more improved Ortega might be now. Without seeing more variety and consistency to his game, and without visiting an ability to keep output multiple hard hitting rounds, I have to pick Holloway. His ability to push a speed and then to up that pace because his opponents tire, his ability to modify aims in conjunction and open up new mixtures off sooner, simpler ones, just are not skills that Ortega has revealed yet. And Ortega still has a background of losing rounds he hasn’t completed the struggle in. Despite Max’s health scare, the majority of the questions are around Ortega’s side and most of the answers are around Holloway’s. Max Holloway by decision.
Victor Rodriguez: Neither guy is going to be looking to take down the other, and Holloway’s clinch match is lethal. Having said that, Ortega’s been a man I’ve counted out in a lot of fights, I feel dumb picking against him. He ought to have a range disadvantage and Max’s frenetic pace must make this hard for him due to volume, but Ortega does not get hit that far and seems to keep finding ways to pull a rabbit out of his hat. I still want to select Ortega by diving to get a flying armbar in the clinch scenario, but that is a little reckless for me personally. And while I am still concerned about the fact that we don’t understand what health concerns Holloway had last time, it seems that the guy that wears damage well and contains a more comprehensive and written approach to his attacks need to be able to take over as the battle continues on and employ pressure so. Max Holloway by decision.
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