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The Bloody Elbow group has filed its forecasts for UFC 231, and while everybody who wrote something up chosen Max Holloway over Brian Ortega, entire opinion is fairly divided. As for the co-main event, again things are divided as to who’ll prevail involving Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Valentina Shevchenko. It is good to have toss-up title fights such as these two, isn’t it?
Notice: Predictions are entered throughout the week and collected the day before the event. Explanations behind every pick are not required and a few authors opt not to do so for their own reasons. By way of example, if Phil Mackenzie entered all his predictions on Wednesday without incorporating in any excuses he has no idea if he’s going to be the only one siding with one fighter for any specific fight.
Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega
Anton Tabuena: This is pretty simple to me. With any bizarre health difficulties, Max Holloway should fully run via Ortega here. Holloway is just much better and a lot more dangerous than the rest of the people Ortega has beaten. This is clearly still MMA and Ortega has proven that he has decent power, but he definitely won’t pick apart someone as technically adept as Holloway. I believe this will seem a good deal like Ortega’s past spells, but he will take a much worse beating and won’t have the ability to fix that magic comeback. Max Holloway by TKO.
Mookie Alexander: There is a level of unsustainability into Ortega’s love of finishing fights over winning rounds, and Holloway is a masterful round winner. I am obviously assuming we are getting the best edition of Max Holloway, so that is the key here. Ortega has grown tremendously as a striker, but up until this point, Holloway has proven a ridiculous chin and he’s likely not the person you need to take part in a high-paced brawl with. Ortega loves the leaping guillotine, I suspect Holloway will be prepared for this, and he is a damn great grappler in his own right. Takedowns are improbable on either side, and Ortega in particular has shown himself to be not especially great at shooting his opponents down in the first location. While Ortega is extremely dangerous predicated on what we’ve seen from him in recent conflicts, I still trust Holloway to do more damage and prevent the classic Ortega comeback. Max Holloway by unanimous 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 often a lack of basic ones – has appeared like a complete game. He worked behind the jab, feinted, pulled out predictable responses and changed up his entries to club Frankie to unconsciousness. It was damn pretty. Additionally, it suggests that it is difficult to say how much more improved Ortega might be now. Without seeing more variety and consistency into his game, and without seeing an ability to maintain output over multiple hard striking rounds, I have to pick Holloway. His ability to push a speed and then to up that rate because his opponents tire, his ability to modify targets in combination and start up new mixtures off earlier, easier ones, just aren’t skills that Ortega has shown yet. And Ortega still has a background of losing rounds he hasn’t completed the fight in. Despite Max’s health scare, the majority of the questions are around Ortega’s side and nearly all of the answers are on Holloway’s. Max Holloway by decision.
Victor Rodriguez: Neither man is going to be seeking to take down the other, and Holloway’s clinch game is lethal. Having said this, Ortega’s been a man I have counted out in a lot of struggles, I feel stupid picking against him. He ought to have a range disadvantage and Max’s frenetic pace should make this hard for him due to quantity, but Ortega does not get hit that much and seems 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 situation, but that is a little reckless even for me. And while I am still concerned about the fact that we still don’t know what health issues Holloway had time, it would appear that the guy that wears damage well and contains a more complete and composed approach to his attacks should have the ability to take over as the battle goes on and apply pressure accordingly. Max Holloway by decision.
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