Holloway vs Ortega Live Stream: Max Holloway’s bout with Brian Ortega atUFC 231 isn’t a typical title fight – it’s the best showdown mixed martial artscan provide right now. UFC 231 sees the world’s top mixed martial artspromotion head back to Toronto for the first time in two years with a familiarface at the top of the card. The UFC’s last trip to the city was the UFC 206event during which Max Holloway first became a UFC champion. On Saturday,Holloway returns to the scene to defend his gold.
That night at Scotiabank Arena (at the time known as Air Canada Centre) the Hawaiian broke Anthony Pettis en route to a third-round TKO victory and interim title. Six months later he unified the 145-pound belts by stopping former champ Jose Aldo with a third-round TKO at UFC 212 then did it again at UFC 218 in his first title defence—same opponent, same round, same method of victory.
In his second defence he faces unbeaten Brian Ortega, a fighter with Gracie family ties and perhaps the most dangerous submission game the UFC’s featherweight division has ever seen.
It’s the most intriguing featherweight contest since Conor McGregor met Jose Aldo in their MMA landscape-altering matchup back at UFC 194 three years ago. The winner of UFC 231’s main event will be the undisputed best featherweight in MMA like McGregor was then and, since both have expressed a desire to eventually move up to the lightweight division just like Ireland’s favourite pugilist, they could also become the sport’s next two-weight star.
Holloway will knock you out, but he won’t do it with one clean shot. Instead, he learns your rhythm, your timing, your tells, then starts picking you apart and eventually overwhelms you with volume. His distance management is among the best in the sport and he possesses strong counterstriking techniques that pair nicely with his affinity for pushing the pace. It’s a tough style for any opponent to thwart.
As Dan Hardy pointed out in his Inside the Octagon preview of UFC 231, in his past three fights Holloway has gotten both progressively busier and more accurate in each round until he gets the finish. Holloway’s 1,213 significant strikes landed are the most in UFC featherweight history and his 5.67 landed strikes per minute is fifth-best in UFC history regardless of weight class.
If the fight goes into the championship rounds, the pace Holloway sets will test Ortega’s gas tank but the heavy-volume style itself is something Ortega has faced and overcome before.
Ortega has been outstruck in nearly all of his UFC bouts yet he has never tasted defeat. Both Renato Moicano and Cub Swanson are high-pace, punch-heavy fighters and the most similar comparisons to Holloway among Ortega’s previous opponents. Both were ahead on the scorecards in their fights with Ortega before each was caught in a guillotine choke.
With Ortega, it only takes a split-second lapse in judgement or one technical slip-up and the next thing you know you’re tapping or napping. No submission is too difficult to pull off for Ortega, but the Californian favours chokes of all varieties. His nickname “T-City” stands for triangle city with the triangle choke being his specialty.
What makes Ortega a potentially great fighter, though, is that in addition to his grappling acumen he has fight-changing power that Holloway doesn’t.
In his most recent appearance he became the first and only fighter to earn a stoppage win over Frankie Edgar when he landed an uppercut that literally lifted the future Hall of Famer’s body off the canvas and sent his consciousness into the ether.