It has become a rarity these days in MMA where you get two fighters at their absolute best in their prime fighting for the gold.
We as fans have an absolute treat this weekend that has not one but two title fights featuring four fighters at their peak form. The main event is for the featherweight title and features Max Holloway hoping to add to his impressive win streak as he meets the submission opportunist Brian Ortega.
I think a lot of people feel this matchup is very tricky and it can be if you make it that way. Max Holloway is truly one of the best fighters in the sport today. He truly has just about no holes in his game. Excellent pace and cardio, superb boxing and grappling skills. The kid has it all and his winning streak that he has been riding since 2014 clearly shows that as he has dominant wins over Ricardo Lamas, Cub Swanson, Anthony Pettis, Jose Aldo, and many more. His opponent, Brian Ortega has shown that even when he is down on the scorecards, he makes the most of every little opportunity he can get. Ortega has scored some great wins in his young MMA career including handing Frankie Edgar his first TKO loss this past March.
Holloway and Ortega were scheduled to compete in July for the title but due to concerning health issues that arose for Holloway the fight was scrapped. While it seems and looks that Holloway is back to great form and health, there may still be miniscule concerns for his health moving forward just because of what transpired during international fight week along with his tough cut to 145 as he gets older. I’ve watched several interviews along with viewing the open workouts and I think Holloway will be fine this weekend as long as he looks good at the early weigh ins too.
If Holloway can avoid getting caught in guillotines (or any other submission for that matter) then I think this fight is his to lose. Even though Ortega is undefeated he has struggled with previous fighters who are nowhere near close to the skill level of Holloway. Holloway should be able to keep his range and outbox him, pick him apart, and tire him out with his pace to a clear decision win. Like I mentioned above, Holloway is a superb fighter in terms of all MMA aspects, he really does just about everything well. I don’t think Ortega can take him down, but he will definitely look to get a hold of Holloway in a clinch and try for a guillotine choke or anything else that arises for him to capitalize on. As long as Holloway doesn’t freak out and keeps his composure in the exchanges (which I think he will – Holloway is a smart fighter), he should be able to fend off submission attempts from the Gracie black belt and pick apart Ortega to a decision win.
Prop: Max Holloway Wins by Decision (+218)