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UFC 231: Holloway vs. Ortega staff picks and predictions

The Bloody Elbow team has filed its predictions for UFC 231, and while everyone who wrote up something picked Max Holloway over Brian Ortega, entire opinion is fairly divided. In terms of the co-main occasion, things are divided as to who will prevail involving Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Valentina Shevchenko. It’s excellent to have toss-up title fights like these two, is not it?
Note: Predictions are entered throughout the week and collected the day prior to the event. Explanations behind every pick are not required and a few writers elect not to do this for their own reasons. For example, if Phil Mackenzie entered all his predictions on Wednesday without incorporating 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 fairly straightforward to me. Barring any weird health difficulties, Max Holloway should fully run through Ortega here. Holloway is just better and far more dangerous than all the other folks Ortega has defeated. That is obviously still MMA and Ortega has proven that he has decent power, but he certainly won’t pick apart someone as technically proficient as Holloway. I believe this will seem 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 is a level of unsustainability to Ortega’s love of completing fights over winning rounds, and Holloway is a masterful round winner. I’m obviously assuming we’re getting the best version of Max Holloway, therefore that is the secret here. Ortega has increased tremendously as a striker, but until this stage, Holloway has shown a ridiculous chin and he is likely not the person you need to take part in a high-paced brawl with. Ortega enjoys the leaping guillotine, I suspect Holloway is going to be prepared for this, and he is a damn great grappler in his very own right. Takedowns are improbable on both sides, and Ortega in particular has revealed himself to be not especially good at taking down his opponents in the first location. While Ortega is extremely dangerous predicated on what we’ve seen from him lately fights, I still trust Holloway to do more damage and prevent the classic Ortega comeback. Max Holloway by unanimous conclusion.
Zane Simon: Ortega’s struggle against Frankie Edgar was something of a sin. He’s always been tricky, always been reckless, but that was the very first time that his striking style – built 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 answers and changed up his entries to club Frankie into unconsciousness. It was damn pretty. It also means that it is hard to say how much more advanced Ortega might be now. Without seeing more consistency and variety into his game, and without visiting an ability to keep output multiple hard striking rounds, I need to pick Holloway. His ability to push a speed then to up that pace as his opponents tire, his ability to change targets in combination and open up new mixtures off earlier, simpler ones, just aren’t skills that Ortega has shown yet. And Ortega still has a background of dropping rounds he has not finished the fight in. Even with Max’s health scare, most of the questions are on Ortega’s side and nearly all of the replies are on Holloway’s. Max Holloway by choice.
Victor Rodriguez: Neither guy is going to be looking to take down the other, and Holloway’s clinch match is deadly. Having said this, Ortega’s been a guy I’ve counted out in so many fights, I just feel stupid picking him against him. He should have a range disadvantage and Max’s frenetic pace should make this hard for him because of quantity, but Ortega does not get hit that much and seems to keep finding ways to pull a bunny out of his hat. I want to select Ortega by diving to get a flying armbar from a clinch scenario, but that is a small reckless for me personally. And while I am still worried about the fact that we don’t know what health concerns Holloway had last time, it seems 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 choice.

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