UFC 231 – Best Bets
The Octagon returns to Toronto on Saturday night with Max’Blessed’ Holloway defending his featherweight belt against undefeated Brian’T-City Ortega in the UFC 231 headliner at Scotiabank Arena.
As of early Friday night, most novels had Ortega (14-0-1 MMA, 6-0-1 UFC) recorded as a -125 favored with a total of 3.5 rounds (‘under’ -125,’over’ -105). Holloway had been the brief’chalk’ for several months until Thursday if the 27-year-old Ortega took over the favorite role.
Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) has won 12 consecutive fights since losing a unanimous decision against Conor’The Notorious’ McGregor at UFC Boston on August 17 of 2013. In this incredible run, the 27-year-old Hawaiian has completed nine of 12 foes and accumulated five fight-night bonuses.
Holloway entered the title image in 2015 by submitting Cub Swanson, beating Charles Oliveira and earning decision victories over Cole Miller and Jeremy Stephens. Subsequently in 2016 Holloway knocked off Ricardo Lamas by decision, enticing’The Bully’ into a swing-for-the-fences contest in the final 10 minutes of this scrap (it was savage!) .
The victory over Lamas garnered Holloway a shot in the interim 145-pound strap against former lightweight champion Anthony’Showtime’ Pettis. Holloway won the belt by simply taking out Pettis using a third-round knockout at UFC 206 at Toronto.
Next,’Blessed’ took on the mythical Jose Aldo Jr. to unify the featherweight belts. Holloway went to Aldo’s hometown of Rio and beat him by way of third-round KO at UFC 212. Subsequently in the rematch in Detroit in UFC 218, Holloway once more won with a third-round KO of Aldo on Dec. two of 2017.
Ad Coming into 2018, Holloway had the appearance of one the promotion’s most dominant champions. But he had to withdraw from his scheduled March 3 title defense against former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar due to an injury. When Tony Ferguson was injured doing press a week before confronting Khabib Nurmagomedov for Ferguson’s interim lightweight belt, Holloway accepted an offer to confront Nurmagomedov on just six days of notice.
The battle April 7 did not happen, though, since the New York Athletic Commission forced Holloway to quit cutting weight — from health/safety concerns — on Friday morning. He had been scheduled to defend his featherweight title against Ortega at UFC 226 on July 7, however, he had been pulled from the struggle because of”concussion-like symptoms.”
Holloway was put on the shelf while physicians ran different tests. The health care people never really figured out exactly what the problem was to get its featherweight kingpin, but they cleared him to return to fighting. There was a whole lot of chatter about how Holloway’s weight cut would go, but he stepped on the scale this morning and then hit his mark with a half-pound to spare at 144.5 pounds.
Ortega also had an effortless weight reduction and was among the fighters to make his number. He is less than 24 hours off from his shot at fulfilling a lifelong fantasy.
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