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Max Holloway

UFC 231: Max Holloway batters gritty Brian Ortega to retain featherweight crown

Max Holloway (20-3-0) overcame Brian Ortega’s (14-1-0, 1NC) best shots to deliver a convincing fourth round TKO victory in the main event of Toronto’s UFC 231 at the Scotiabank Arena.

Holloway used his trademark striking to pepper Ortega’s face, opening a big cut under Ortega’s left eye, but it only spurred Ortega to dig deep and land some big shots of his own.

By the end of the second round, Ortega was a bloody mess, but still pushing forward desperately looking to land a shot or takedown.

The chin of Holloway was tested in the third round specifically, but Ortega could not get the fight to the ground. Holloway simply poured it on in the fourth, prompting the doctors to check Ortega afterwards and call the fight.

According to UFC stats, Holloway landed 307 strikes out of 507 attempts for a 61 per cent percentage. He also landed 290 out of 490 significant strikes for a 60 per cent rate. Ortega, despite being outstruck, still landed 112 of 294 strikes for 38 per cent, and 110 of 292 significant strikes for a 37 per cent rate.

Holloway and Ortega earned Fight of the Night honours, while Holloway  and Thiago Santos earned performances of the night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus, except Holloway, who doubled up with $100,000 USD.

Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the card.

UFC FIGHT PASS EARLY PRELIMS 

DEVIN BROWN VS. ALEKSANDAR RAJIC 

WINNER: ALEKSANDAR RAJIC VIA TKO R1 4:05

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ALEKSANDAR RAJIC VIA UD

Andrews: Rajic took Brown’s best shots and came back to put him away. Great win.

DIEGO FERREIRA VS. KYLE NELSON 

https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1071554154911256576

WINNER: DIEGO FERREIRA VIA TKO R2 1:23 

ANDREWS PREDICTION: DIEGO FERREIRA VIA UD

Andrews: Nelson was doing well, almost finished the bout and then the heart and experience of Diego took over. Great come from behind win.

CHAD LAPRISE VS. DHIEGO LIMA 

WINNER: DHIEGO LIMA VIA TKO R1 

ANDREWS PREDICTION: CHAD LAPRISE VIA UD

Andrews: Wow! Great left hook by Lima. LaPrise was doing the right things, but just got caught. He’ll be back.

BRAD KATONA VS. MATTHEW LOPEZ 

WINNER: BRAD KATONA VIA UD (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MATTHEW LOPEZ VIA UD

Andrews: Great job by Katona and should have gotten the submission at the end. I thought the experience of Lopez would help him, but it did not.

#14 ELIAS THEODOROU VS. ERYK ANDERS 

https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1071577303715471361

WINNER: ELIAS THEODOROU VIA UD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ELIAS THEODOROU VIA UD 

Andrews: Poor Eryk Anders. Another split-decison loss. But the fight was close and he needed the knockout fighting in his opponent’s backyard.

#3 KATLYN CHOOKAGIAN VS. #9 JESSICA EYE 

WINNER: JESSICA EYE VIA SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: KATLYN CHOOKAGIAN VIA UD

Andrews: Hard luck for Katlyn, but give Jessica credit. She fought a good fight.

OLIVIER AUBIN-MERCIER VS. GILBERT BURNS 

https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1071591368538042369

WINNER: GILBERT BURNS VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: OLIVIER AUBIN-MERCIER VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: As he explained prior, Burns had a plan for the grappling of OAM. Good win for him.

#3 CLAUDIA GADELHA VS. #11 NINA ANSAROFF

WINNER: NINA ANSAROFF VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: NINA ANSAROFF VIA UD

Andrews: As expected, Ansaroff did not let Gadelha use her grappling and used her striking to pile up the points. Funny how training with a world champion can do wonders fro your game.

#7 JIMI MANUWA VS. THIAGO SANTOS 

WINNER: THIAGO SANTOS VIA TKO R2 0:41

ANDREWS PREDICTION: THIAGO SANTOS VIA TKO

Andrews: Wow! Thiago Santos continues to rumble through and now I wonder if it’s time for Jimi to hang ’em up.

HAKEEM DAWODU VS. KYLE BOCHNIAK

https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1071616051941535744

WINNER: HAKEEM DAWODU VIA SD (28-29, 30-27, 30-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: KYLE BOCHNIAK VIA UD

Andrews: Wow, Hakeem brought the fight and got the decision. Good performance.

#13 ALEX OLIVEIRA VS. #14 GUNNAR NELSON

WINNER: GUNNAR NELSON VIA SUBMISSION R2 4:17

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ALEX OLIVEIRA VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: Gunnar came and handled his business. Great win to stop the rumbling Cowboy.

#1 VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO VS. #1 JOANNA JEDREZEJCZYK 

https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1071636985779867649

WINNER: VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO VIA UD (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO VIA UD

Andrews: A valiant effort by Joanna, she never stopped trying to find openings, but Valentina landed the more damaging strikes and laded five takedowns. “The Bullet” too strong and she finally gets her due as flyweight champ.

MAIN EVENT 

MAX HOLLOWAY VS. #1 BRIAN ORTEGA 

https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1071642951284011008

WINNER: MAX HOLLOWAY VIA TKO (DOCTOR’S STOPPAGE) R4 5:00

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MAX HOLLOWAY VIA UD

Andrews: Wow! What a fight! Holloway landing a ton of strikes to the head and body that would have stopped normal fighters early. But Ortega plowed through and made things very interesting land some of his own. One of the great fights of the year. Take a bow, gents.

@kenaiandrews

Categories
ExtrafeaturenewsUFC

Kenai is a former Postmedia Network news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.
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