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, most 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 had been the short’chalk’ for many months until Thursday when 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 at 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 image in 2015 by submitting Cub Swanson, beating Charles Oliveira and earning decision successes over Cole Miller and Jeremy Stephens. Subsequently in 2016 Holloway knocked off Ricardo Lamas by decision, enticing’The Bully’ to a swing-for-the-fences competition in the final 10 seconds of the scrap (it was savage!) .
The success over Lamas garnered Holloway a shot in 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 at Toronto.
Next,’Blessed’ took on the mythical Jose Aldo Jr. to unify the featherweight belts. Holloway went to Aldo’s hometown of Rio and beat him by way of third-round KO in UFC 212. Then in the rematch at Detroit in UFC 218, Holloway once more won with a third-round KO of Aldo on Dec. two of 2017.
Ad Coming into 2018, Holloway had the look of one the promotion’s most dominant champions. However, 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 media a week before confronting Khabib Nurmagomedov for Ferguson’s interim lightweight belt, Holloway accepted an offer to face Nurmagomedov on just six days of note.
The battle April 7 didn’t occur, though, because the New York Athletic Commission compelled Holloway to stop cutting weight — out of health/safety concerns — on Friday morning. He had been also scheduled to defend his featherweight title against Ortega in UFC 226 on July 7, but he had been pulled from the struggle because of”concussion-like symptoms”
Holloway was put on the shelf while physicians ran different tests. The health care individuals 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 reduction 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 had an effortless weight reduction and was among the first fighters to generate his number. He is less than 24 hours off from his shot at satisfying a life-long dream.

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