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 in Scotiabank Arena.
As of early Friday night, many novels had Ortega (14-0-1 MMA, 6-0-1 UFC) listed as a -125 favorite with a total of 3.5 rounds (‘under’ -125,’over’ -105). Holloway was the brief’chalk’ for several months before Thursday if the 27-year-old Ortega took on the favorite function.
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. During this incredible run, the 27-year-old Hawaiian has finished nine of 12 foes and collected five fight-night bonuses.
Holloway entered the name picture in 2015 by submitting Cub Swanson, beating Charles Oliveira and earning decision victories over Cole Miller and Jeremy Stephens. Then in 2016 Holloway knocked off Ricardo Lamas by decision, enticing’The Bully’ into a swing-for-the-fences competition in the last 10 seconds of the scrap (it was savage!) .
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 unify the featherweight belts. Holloway went into Aldo’s hometown of Rio and beat him by way of third-round KO in UFC 212. Then in 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 advertising’s most dominant champions. But 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 injured 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 note.
The fight on April 7 didn’t happen, however, since the New York Athletic Commission forced Holloway to quit cutting weight — from health/safety worries — on Friday morning. He was also scheduled to defend his featherweight title against Ortega in UFC 226 on July 7, however, he was pulled from the struggle because of”concussion-like symptoms.”
Holloway was placed on the shelf while physicians ran various tests. The health care people never really figured out exactly what the issue was for 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 would go, but he stepped on the scale this morning and hit his mark with a half-pound to spare at 144.5 pounds.
Ortega also had an effortless weight reduction and was among the first fighters to generate his or her number. He’s less than 24 hours away from his shot at satisfying a life-long dream.
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