The UFC is north of the border in Toronto where featherweight champion Max Holloway and challenger Brian Ortega look to produce an instant classic tonight in the main event of UFC 231.
Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the card.
UFC FIGHT PASS EARLY PRELIMS (6PM ET/3PM PT)
DEVIN BROWN (9-2-0) VS. ALEKSANDAR RAJIC (9-1-0)
Andrews: Brown will probably want to take the fight to the ground. Rajic is the bigger fighter with some good striking, if he can sty upright he should get the decision.
Andrews Prediction: Aleksandar Rajic via UD
DIEGO FERREIRA (13-2-0) VS. KYLE NELSON (12-1-0)
Andrews: Ferreira has a massive octagon experience advantage and has beaten another Canadian, Olivier Aubin-Mercier previously. Nelson will have the UFC jitters but also nothing to lose. Still, Ferriera should get the decision.
Andrews Prediction: Diego Ferreira via UD
CHAD LAPRISE (14-3-0) VS. DHIEGO LIMA (14-7-0)
Andrews: Lima is vulnerable to the strikes and takedowns of LaPrise. Chad needs to soften him up a little and stuff Lima’s takedowns if he can’t land the big shot.
Andrews Prediction: Chad LaPrise via UD
BRAD KATONA (8-0-0) VS. MATTHEW LOPEZ (10-4-0)
Andrews: I have to go with the experience advantage of Lopez, which should stifle the man from Winnipeg.
Andrews Prediction: Matthew Lopez via UD
#14 ELIAS THEODOROU (16-2-0) VS. ERYK ANDERS (11-2-0)
Andrews: I don’t think Theodorou’s striking can hurt Anders, so he will either take him to the ground or pile up the points. Anders has to connect or he will be frustrated by the keep away.
Andrews Prediction: Elias Theodorou via UD
#3 KATLYN CHOOKAGIAN (11-1-0) VS. #9 JESSICA EYE (12-6-0, 1NC)
Andrews: This should go down to the wire. Chookagian’s striking is more efficient and damaging than Jessica’s. Another win for Katlyn.
Andrew’s Prediction: Katlyn Chookagian via UD
OLIVIER AUBIN-MERCIER (12-3-0) VS. GILBERT BURNS (14-3-0)
Andrews: The Canadian Gangster will take the fight to the ground and get the tap.
Andrews Prediction: Olivier Aubin-Mercier via submission
#3 CLAUDIA GADELHA (16-3-0) VS. #11 NINA ANSAROFF (9-5-0)
Andrews: Can Claudia get the takedown and keep it there? I don’t know. Anasaroff trains with Amanda Nunes, her partner, and I think she has the gameplan for Gadelha’s grappling.
Andrews Prediction: Nina Ansaroff via UD
#7 JIMI MANUWA (17-3-0) VS. THIAGO SANTOS (19-6-0)
Andrews: Santos will catch Manuwa before Manuwa can establish his hands.
Andrews Prediction: Thiago Santos via TKO
HAKEEM DAWODU (8-1-1) VS. KYLE BOCHNIAK (8-3-0)
Andrews: I like Hakeem, but Bochniak and his experience will negate the hometown crowd.
Andrews Prediction: Kyle Bochniak via UD
#13 ALEX OLIVEIRA (19-4-1, 2NC) VS. #14 GUNNAR NELSON (16-3-1)
Andrews: Nelson has the skills, but not the aggressiveness to keep Oliveira off him. Oliveira will absorb some punishment as usual, but will take the win at the end.
Andrews Prediction: Alex Oliveira via submission
#1 VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO (15-3-0) VS. #1 JOANNA JEDREZEJCZYK (15-2-0)
Andrews: Valentina is the bigger girl and she has beaten Joanna several times in other disciplines. It is her time.
Andrews Prediction: Valentina Shevchenko via UD
MAX HOLLOWAY (19-3-0) VS. #1 BRIAN ORTEGA (14-0-0, 1NC)
Andrews: Holloway looked better at the weigh-ins. An “on” Holloway stifles the dangerous ground game of Ortega and negates his striking. It will be a blessed day.
Andrews Prediction: Max Holloway via UD