The Octagon returns to Toronto on Saturday night with Max’Blessed’ Holloway defending his featherweight belt against undefeated Brian’T-City Ortega at the UFC 231 headliner at Scotiabank Arena.
As of early Friday night, most novels had Ortega (14-0-1 MMA, 6-0-1 UFC) listed as a -125 favorite with a total of 3.5 rounds (‘beneath’ -125,’over’ -105). Holloway was the brief’chalk’ for several months before Thursday when the 27-year-old Ortega took on the favourite role.
Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) has won 12 consecutive battles since losing a unanimous decision against Conor’The Notorious’ McGregor at UFC Boston on August 17 of 2013. In this unbelievable run, the 27-year-old Hawaiian has finished nine of 12 foes and collected five fight-night bonuses.
Holloway entered the name image in 2015 by submitting Cub Swanson, beating Charles Oliveira and making decision successes over Cole Miller and Jeremy Stephens. Then in 2016 Holloway knocked off Ricardo Lamas by choice, enticing’The Bully’ into a swing-for-the-fences contest in the final 10 seconds 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 in Toronto.
Next,’Blessed’ took on the mythical Jose Aldo Jr. to unify the featherweight belts. Holloway went into Aldo’s hometown of Rio and defeat him through third-round KO at UFC 212. Then from the rematch in Detroit in UFC 218, Holloway once again 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. However, he had to withdraw from his scheduled March 3 title defense against former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar because of an injury. When Tony Ferguson was hurt doing press a week before facing Khabib Nurmagomedov for Ferguson’s interim lightweight belt, Holloway accepted an offer to confront Nurmagomedov on just six days of notice.
The fight on April 7 didn’t happen, however, because the New York Athletic Commission compelled Holloway to stop cutting weight — out of health/safety worries — on Friday morning. He had been scheduled to defend his featherweight title against Ortega in UFC 226 on July 7, but he was pulled from the fight 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 good deal of chatter about how Holloway’s weight reduction would go, but he stepped on the scale this morning and then hit his mark with a half-pound to spare at 144.5 lbs.
Ortega also had an effortless weight cut and was among the first fighters to generate his number. He is less than 24 hours away from his shot at fulfilling a lifelong fantasy.
Read more: team-racing.org