The Octagon returns to Toronto on Saturday night with Max’Blessed’ Holloway protecting his featherweight belt against undefeated Brian’T-City Ortega in the UFC 231 headliner at Scotiabank Arena.
As of early Friday night, many books 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 had been the short’chalk’ for many months until Thursday if the 27-year-old Ortega took on the favourite function.
Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) has won 12 consecutive fights since losing a unanimous decision against Conor’The Notorious’ McGregor in UFC Boston on August 17 of 2013. During this unbelievable run, the 27-year-old Hawaiian has completed 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 making 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 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 simply taking out Pettis with 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 in UFC 212. Subsequently in the rematch at Detroit in UFC 218, Holloway once again won using a third-round KO of Aldo on Dec. two of 2017.
Advertisement Coming into 2018, Holloway had the appearance of one the advertising’s most dominant champions. But he needed 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 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, since the New York Athletic Commission compelled Holloway to stop cutting weight — out of health/safety concerns — on Friday morning. He had been scheduled to defend his featherweight title against Ortega in UFC 226 on July 7, however, he was pulled in the fight because of”concussion-like symptoms”
Holloway was put on the shelf while doctors ran different tests. The medical people never really figured out what the issue 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 or her number. He’s less than 24 hours away from his shot at satisfying a lifelong fantasy.
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