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UFC 231 Predictions – MMA Fighting

The penultimate pay-per-view of the UFC from 2018 shows two eagerly awaited title fights. Featherweight champion Max Holloway and number 1 contender Brian Ortega will complete the UFC 231 major event on Saturday. The July booking was spoiled by Holloway's medical problems, which are still a bit mysterious to this day.

Does Holloway go 100 percent into the first fight of a year? Is it important against the unbeaten Ortega, who was a finishing machine in the UFC? Could this be the beginning of an emerging rivalry between two fighters in the prime of their athletic career?

The final question could also be asked about the co-main event, in which former world heavyweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk is ranked No. 1

in female flyweight Valentina Shevchenko for a free 125-pound title. This title has been the subject of a thorough review since its debut as the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 26 which turned out to be Nicco Montano. Montano was unable to defend the title for a variety of reasons, notably because he said goodbye to a planned title defense against Shevchenko in September, after weight-reduced problems had taken her to the hospital. An impressive victory by Jedrzejczyk or Shevchenko will give the division the necessary stability.

In another major card action, Gunnar Nelson appears for the first time in over 500 days when he contests Alex Oliveira in a welterweight fight. Action featherweights Hakeem Dawodu and Kyle Bochniak will drop and Jimi Manuwa will face his striker Thiago Santos give next test at light heavyweight.

What: UFC 231

Where: Scotiabank Arena in Toronto

When: Saturday, December 8th. The UFC Fight Pass card with four battles starts at 18:00 ET begins the preliminary card with four fights FOX Sports 1 at 20 o'clock. ET and the 5-fight pay-per-view main card will start at 22:00. ET.

Max Holloway Vs. Brian Ortega

It's time to crown a new featherweight king.

Max Holloway has been almost unbeatable in the past five years, but do not confuse this with unbeatable. If anything, part of what "blessed" has made such a favorite among the hard hordes is its inclination to do it as well as it gives. The defending champion embodies the Hawaiian fighting spirit and in his last twelve games, it has always been his opponents who first withered.

Enter Brian Ortega.

T-City has also proved vulnerable during its UFC run; However, thanks to his uncanny ability to reach the final rounds of the third round, he has managed to defeat himself at least a couple of times. That was not even necessary in his last fight when he devastated former UFC champion Frankie Edgar (considered a superior striker) in a single round.

Make no mistake, Ortega can survive Holloway. The Gracie Jiu-Jitsu disciple will certainly have the advantage on the ground, but when it comes down to it, he's not out of his element in the face of Holloway's superb arsenal.

I would lie If I said that Holloway's recent health concerns had not affected my choice here. In the arguably most competitive featherweight fight in the history of the MMA, even the tiniest crack could cause a fighter to fall. In this situation, it is Holloway, who comes to the Octagon and asks questions about how he will work after a hard year dismissal.

That does not mean that Ortega will only win as Holloway wears off. Even at full strength, Holloway was always in danger of becoming a challenger in his vicinity with the same invincible aura as himself. Ortega is the challenger and after UFC 231 he will be the champion.

Selection: Ortega

Valentina Shevchenko vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Betting against probably the greatest fighter of all time seems foolish, but what else can you do when she plays against an opponent who has already made three appearances who has turned out to be a better striker?

Their muay thai days are a long time ago for Valentina Shevchenko and Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and although Jedrzejczyk already has this, she has established herself as a force in the MMA. It is justified to use Shevchenko's earlier victories against Jedrzejczyk as a reference point. Saturday's co-main event is likely to be a stand-up affair, so it's likely that the result can be a familiar one.

Shevchenko will have a small size advantage in Battle Night even if some try to sell it Shevchenko's power against the speed of Jedrzejcyk, "Bullet" is not a problem in terms of speed either. The stir that Jedrzejczyk showed during her run as queen-weight queen looked more dynamic, but Shevchenko wanted to show more of her mat skills when she beat Priscila Cachoeira and Julianna Pena.

This gives Shevchenko another chance to win the fight, though Jedrzejczyk's takedown and defending defense were always great. In reality, this will primarily be a stand-up fight that should be methodical rather than furious. Shevchenko is defeated Jedrzejczyk on the way to the ultimate punch to finally reach the UFC flyweight title.

Pick: Shevchenko

] Alex Oliveira Vs. Gunnar Nelson


It's hard to find in MMA, although Alex "Cowboy" Oliveira seems to have had no problem in his last fights. The well-rounded Brazilians are struggling with an infectious zest for life that will stand in stark contrast to the ever stoic Gunnar Nelson on the Battle Night. Oliveira is happiest when he works and has scored six wins in his last seven fights (with the exception of a non-competitive fight), while Nelson has been involved in only three fights since December 2015.

Nelson is a gifted fighter, able to implement an unorthodox karate style along with his high-level base game. He is only lost to fighters who could surprise him (or knock him out of the eye), so it's fascinating to see if Oliveira decides to put his jiu-jitsu abilities against Nelson. Oliveira has good submissive skills, but Nelson is an excellent control and position fighter on the mat.

But the rhythm has to be taken into account, and it's a big challenge to compete against a high-performance fighter like Oliveira for everyone. Nelson should be able to avoid being included in Oliveira's impressive list of placements, but Oliveira's more active offenses should still be enough to convince the judges.

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] Oliveira

Hakeem Dawodu Vs. ] Hakeem Dawodu's first UFC win in July showed a glimpse of the talent that called him the next big thing on the Canadian MMA scene. Kyle Bochniak had been involved in this frenzy before.

Crash would have done almost exactly what Zabit Magomedsharipov's party in Brooklyn was when they were fighting at UFC 223. Magomedsharipov was mostly Bochniak fought unanimously for victory, but Bochniak stepped forward for the duration of his struggle until he forced Magomedsharipov to trade with him on wild exchanges. There Bochniak is best when he can convince a technically superior opponent to lose his mind and to throw with him.

I think he can do that against Dawodu. The native Calgaryer does not yet have to show his true potential in the Octagon, but if he feels comfortable, Dawodu can be deadly, be it with a timed counter strike or a sudden, quick combination. He also masters leg strokes, the perfect weapon to make a thug like Bochniak think twice about his approach.

If Bochniak can launch faster than usual and maintain pressure, it will be frustrating for Dawodu, and Dawodu will have no choice but to return the fire in less than ideal circumstances. This is a candidate for the fight of the night that Bochniak will find on the scorecards.

Pick: Bochniak

Jimi Manuwa vs. Thiago Santos

During the media scrubs on Thursday, Jimi Manuwa himself said he did not expect the size here to make any difference, since he recently the middleweight transplant Thiago Santos takes over. In fact, this could turn out to be the downfall of the British thug.

When it comes to speed, Marreta has that in the spades, and he has always been a horror of 185 pounds when it comes to batting. Add to that the inclination to precise turns, and this could be one of the toughest matchups Manuwa has ever experienced. Still, he's always been a smart stand-up fighter, so it's not like he's sneaking in Santos.

Although Manuwa is on his way to his best position, at 38, he is only four years older than Santos, so it's not as if he's been paired with a spring chicken. Athletics should be fairly balanced, and Santos will not be able to play Manuwa against slow middleweights.

This should either end in an early knockout or develop into a fan-friendly slapstick, and I tend to do so. Manuwa is the one who eventually arrives at Santos unprepared and ends the annoyance.

Pick: Manuwa


Claudia Gadelha def. Nina Ansaroff

Jessica Eye def. Katlyn Chookagian

Eryk Anders def. Elias Theodorou

Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Gilbert Burns

Aleksandar Rakic ​​def. Devin Clark

Brad Katona def. Matthew Lopez

Diego Ferreira def. Kyle Nelson

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