Brian Ortega vs. Max Holloway UFC 231 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 12/8/18
Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega
UFC: Saturday, December 8, 2018 (Scotiabank Arena)
The Line: Holloway -120 / Ortega +100 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
Max Holloway and Brian Ortega fight Saturday during UFC 231 at Scotiabank 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 (2017) 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 will fight for the first time in a year, as his quick notice against Khabib Nurmagomedov didn’t pan out due to the risk of rapid weight loss, and he had to pull out of other fights due to a leg injury and concussion symptoms. Holloway is used to fighting twice a year, so it will be interesting to see if the time away helps or hurts his performance. 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 third career fight in Canada.
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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 is coming off 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 first career fight in Canada.
I’m not sure much changes from when these two were supposed to fight in July to now. Ortega 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.