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 in Scotiabank Arena.
As of early Friday night, many novels had Ortega (14-0-1 MMA, 6-0-1 UFC) recorded as a -125 favored with a total of 3.5 rounds (‘beneath’ -125,’over’ -105). Holloway was the brief’chalk’ for many months until Thursday when the 27-year-old Ortega took over 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 in UFC Boston on August 17 of 2013. In this unbelievable run, the 27-year-old Hawaiian has completed 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 victories over Cole Miller and Jeremy Stephens. Then in 2016 Holloway knocked off Ricardo Lamas by choice, enticing’The Bully’ to a swing-for-the-fences contest in the final 10 seconds of this garbage (it was barbarous!) .
The victory over Lamas garnered Holloway a shot at the interim 145-pound strap against former lightweight champion Anthony’Showtime’ Pettis. Holloway won the belt by taking out Pettis using a third-round knockout at UFC 206 in Toronto.
Next,’Blessed’ took on the mythical Jose Aldo Jr. to combine the featherweight belts. Holloway went into Aldo’s hometown of Rio and beat him through third-round KO in UFC 212. Then from the rematch in Detroit at UFC 218, Holloway once again won with a third-round KO of Aldo on Dec. 2 of 2017.
Advertisement Coming into 2018, Holloway had the appearance of one the promotion’s most dominant champions. However, he needed to withdraw from his scheduled March 3 title defense against former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar because of an injury. When Tony Ferguson was injured doing media a week before confronting Khabib Nurmagomedov for Ferguson’s interim lightweight buckle, Holloway accepted an offer to face Nurmagomedov on just six days of note.
The fight on April 7 did not occur, though, since the New York Athletic Commission compelled Holloway to stop cutting weight — out of health/safety concerns — on Friday morning. He was also scheduled to defend his featherweight title against Ortega at UFC 226 on July 7, however, he was pulled from the struggle because of »concussion-like symptoms. »
Holloway was put on the shelf while doctors ran different tests. The health care individuals never really figured out what the issue was to get its featherweight kingpin, but they nonetheless cleared him to return to fighting. There was a good deal of chatter about how Holloway’s weight cut goes, 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 cut and was one of the fighters to make his number. He’s less than 24 hours off from his shot at fulfilling a lifelong fantasy.