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Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega UFC 226 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 7/7/18

Ortega vs. Holloway

UFC: Saturday, July 7, 2018 (T-Mobile Arena)

The Line: Holloway -210 / Ortega +175 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: PPV

Max Holloway and Brian Ortega fight Saturday during UFC 226 at the T-Mobile Arena.

Max Holloway enters this fight with a 19-3 record and has won 47 percent of his fights by knockout. Holloway has won his last 12 fights and is coming off a December win over Jose Aldo. Holloway is averaging 6.2 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 43.9 percent. Holloway is averaging 0.28 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 80 percent. Holloway is sticking to the trend of fighting about every six months, as his plan to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov in April on short notice didn’t fall through. Holloway tried to do a legendary weight cut to replace Tony Ferguson, but doctors stopped the bout from happening in the last 24 hours. It will be interesting to see if there’s any carry over from trying to make that fight happen, as we’ve heard horror stories from fighters who put their body through such abuse. When in good form, Holloway is a volume striker who lands accurately, is creative with his legs and has produced seven knockouts during this 12-fight winning streak. Holloway is also one of the best fighters when it comes to defending the takedown, as he hasn’t been taken down once in his last three fights and wants to force his opponent to fight his style. His length, volume attacks and athleticism make him a very difficult fighter to matchup against, and he brings a fearless mentality to the octagon. Holloway has also been finished just once in his career, which was over six years ago. This will be Holloway’s sixth career fight in Las Vegas. 

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Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega UFC 226 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 7/7/18

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Ortega enters this fight with a 14-0 record and has won 50 percent of his fights by submission. This will be Ortega’s fourth fight since 2017, and he’s coming off a March win over Frankie Edgar. Ortega is averaging 3.65 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 32.2 percent. Ortega is averaging 0.22 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 14.2 percent. Ortega will be fighting just a few months after producing a flawless knockout and earning performance of the night for a second straight fight. Ortega has now produced finishes in each of his last seven victories when you include his submission win over Mike De La Torre. Ortega has certainly improved his striking in his last few fights, as he used to be a bit wild and carless with his hands, opening the door to counters and leading to subpar defense. Ortega is most dangerous with his legs and his ground game, as he kicks well and can find a submission hold just about anywhere. With a deep background in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Ortega doesn’t need much of an opening to end a fight and has won three of his last five bouts by submission. Ortega is extremely dangerous on the canvas, even though he hasn’t produced a takedown since his victory over De La Torre. This will be Ortega’s third career fight in Las Vegas. 

Like the Daniel Cormier fight, it’s hard to turn down big plus money with a fighter as talented and as proven as Ortega. We’re talking about a guy who hasn’t lost in his career, has impressive finish ability and a high fighting IQ that allows him to secure these creative submissions. However, Holloway is the longer fighter, the much more powerful and accurate striker, and he rarely gets caught out of position. Ortega won’t be able to lineup a potential submission and Holloway’s takedown defense is top notch. Ortega is basically going to have to beat Holloway at his own game, and he’s simply not the pure striker capable of doing that. 

Holloway wins this fight.

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