Max Holloway versus Brian Ortega in 2018

Amanda Nunes recently defeated Miesha Tate at UFC 200 with a rear-naked choke in the first round.

By Kyler Kuehler

Number six ranked featherweight contender Brian Ortega earned his biggest victory yet when he submitted number four ranked contender Cub Swanson at 3:22 in round two thus improving his record to 13-0, 1 No Contest.

Yes, Ortega was a big underdog heading into this fight and has always been underrated, but now that he just finished a top competitor like Swanson it now appears that he will be facing the current champion Max Holloway in the upcoming year.

It’s possible since Holloway has defeated Jose Aldo twice (UFC 212 and 218) and Ricardo Lamas once before with ease at UFC 199 and Frankie Edgar is out of action due to an injury in which he will need surgery to repair so he will be sidelined for quite some time.

If the fight does go down how good of a matchup will it be?

Well, beginning with Holloway we all know he is equipped with kickboxing, Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu giving him his knockout ability and grappling control mixed with cardio that has lead him to a record of 19-3 with a current winning streak of 12 victories.

Ortega might not have as impressive of a record with his 13-0, 1 no contest, but he does contain great boxing as well as jiu-jitsu giving him two wins via knockout, seven via submission and four via decision.

Now if these two clashed the fight will look to favor Holloway on their feet with his aggressive striking power and speed for which Ortega seems not well-rounded to face as he has had a few fights where he was out struck greatly (Diego Brandao; 56-29 and Renato Moicanto; 109-65) where Holloway has had six fights in which he managed to land over one hundred strikes (Pat Schilling; 118-27, Leonard Garcia; 120-89, Clay Collard; 124-70, Ricardo Lamas; 103-64, and Jose Aldo; both 104-55 and174-87) proving how aggressive he is in a standup brawl.

Though in his grappling techniques his jiu-jitsu is not as well-rounded as Ortega’s with only two wins via submission compared to Ortega’s seven now revealing Ortega has a great advantage over Holloway should the fight go to the ground or end up in any type of grappling challenge.

But we cannot forget about the cardio each of these fighters contain and they have had a few fights go the distance Holloway seems to have much better cardio with eight wins via decision compared to Ortega’s four revealing that if Ortega wants to stand a chance he will possibly have to finish the fight within the first two rounds before they move on into the later rounds where Holloway will surely unleash rage upon him scoring crucial points as well as inflicting massive damage to Ortega.

All in all these are only numbers, but they do give a good explanation on just how this fight will go down and from the striking, grappling and cardio it’s possible the fight could go either way, but if Holloway continues to improve his skills like he has done in every fight and Ortega tries to find a late finishing it looks like Holloway might still be holding the gold once the fight is over.