UFC 231: Holloway vs. Ortega Preview

By Kyler Kuehler

UFC 231: Holloway vs. Ortega will air on December 8, 2018, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Preliminary Card (Fight Pass)

CARLOS DIEGO FERREIRA (13-2-0) vs JESSE “THE BODY SNATCHER” RONSON (20-8-0)
This is a three-round fight in the lightweight division. Ferreira brings boxing, judo, and jiu-jitsu. Ronson brings boxing, kickboxing, and jiu-jitsu. The boxing and kickboxing of Ronson are well-rounded, but not good enough to get past Ferreira’s boxing and jiu-jitsu. Ferreira will pressure Ronson like never before until finding the perfect opening. It will be there that he goes all out until Ronson can no longer continue. My prediction: Ferreira wins via knockout in Round 3.

CHAD “THE DISCIPLE” LAPRISE (13-3-0) vs DHIEGO LIMA (12-7-0)
This is a three-round fight in the welterweight division. Laprise brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Lima brings striking and jiu-jitsu. They both can strike and grapple, but Laprise is the better striker. He hits harder and is more aggressive─Lima, not so much. They both have jiu-jitsu, but that won’t matter with how much Laprise will be attacking Lima. My prediction: Laprise wins via knockout in Round 2.

BRAD “SUPERMAN” KATONA (7-0-0) vs MATTHEW LOPEZ (10-3-0)
This is a three-round fight in the featherweight division. Katona brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Lopez brings boxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Katona’s striking is something Lopez should worry about. However, Katona doesn’t have a near of good of grappling as Lopez. With a mix of jiu-jitsu and wrestling, Lopez will take control of the fight. He will then wear down Katona until finding the submission hold. My prediction: Lopez wins via submission in Round 2.

DEVIN “BROWN BEAR” CLARK (9-2-0) vs ALEKSANDER RAKIC (9-1-0)
This is a three-round fight in the light heavyweight division. Clark brings boxing, kickboxing, and wrestling. Rakic brings boxing, kickboxing, and grappling. Clark looks to take this fight from his wrestling. However, Rakic brings great takedown defense and packs a punch alongside it. His combination of boxing and kickboxing is more accurate and aggressive. My prediction: Rakic wins via TKO in Round 3.

Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1)

OLIVIER “THE QUEBEC KID” AUBIN-MERCIER (11-3-0) vs GILBERT “DURINHO” BURNS (14-3-0)
This is a three-round fight in the lightweight division. Aubin-Mercier brings boxing, taekwondo, judo, and jiu-jitsu. Burns brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. Burns’ Muay Thai is on the same level as Aubin-Mercier’s boxing─his jiu-jitsu, not so much. Also, with Aubin-Mercier bringing a mix of judo will place more pressure on Burns. That will be exactly what he needs to attack Burns with until the very end. My prediction: Aubin-Mercier wins via unanimous decision.

#14 ELIAS “THE SPARTAN” THEODOROU (15-2-0) vs ERYK “YA BOI” ANDERS (11-2-0)
This is a three-round fight in the middleweight division. Theodorou brings kickboxing, Muay Thai, and jiu-jitsu. Anders brings boxing, kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. They both have similar techniques, but Anders has more aggressive striking. Theodorou has kickboxing and Muay Thai to challenge Anders. However, Anders also will use his wrestling to weaken Theodorou early on until finding the finishing blow. My prediction: Anders wins via knockout in Round 2.

#3 KATLYN “BLONDE FIGHTER” CHOOKAGIAN (11-1-0) vs #9 JESSICA “EVIL” EYE (13-6-0, 1 NC)
This is a three-round fight in the women’s flyweight division. Chookagian brings boxing, karate, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Eye brings boxing, Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Almost identical in every technique; Chookagain is more well-rounded. Her ability to attack while pacing herself will make all the difference in this fight. Eye can be aggressive, but she’s not as accurate and sometimes loses her ability to stay focused. My prediction: Chookagain wins via unanimous decision.

#3 CLAUDIA “CLAUDINHA” GADELHA (16-3-0) vs #11 NINA ANSAROFF (9-5-0)
This is a three-round fight in the women’s strawweight division. Gadelha brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. Ansaroff brings striking, taekwondo, and jiu-jitsu. The Muay Thai Gadelha brings is beyond aggressive and will put Ansaoff in danger. Add in her ground-and-pound, which she will and she will cause greater damage. My prediction: Gadelha wins via unanimous decision.

Main Card (Pay-Per-View)

HAKEEM “MEAN” DAWODU (8-1-1) VS. KYLE “CRASH” BOCHNIAK (8-3-0)
This is a three-round fight in the featherweight division. Dawodu brings kickboxing and Muay Thai. Bochniak brings striking and jiu-jitsu. The jiu-jitsu Bochniak possesses could prove difficult for Dawodu. However, Bochniak does not have near the striking ability of Dawodu. With his kickboxing and Muay Thai Dawodu will attack Bochniak head-on giving him no chance at any takedowns. My prediction: Dawodu wins via TKO in Round 2.

#13 ALEX “COWBOY” OLIVEIRA (19-5-1, 2 NC) vs #14 GUNNAR “GUNNI” NELSON (16-3-1)
This is a five-round main event in the welterweight division. Oliveira brings kickboxing, Muay Thai, and jiu-jitsu. Nelson brings Goju-Ryu Karate, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Two tough fighters; Oliveira is a tad tougher. His Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu are a great combination of control and attack. Nelson’s defense is going to be tough to get by, but Oliveira will wear him down. The weaker Nelson becomes the more pressure Oliveira will place upon him. My prediction: Oliveira wins via unanimous decision.

#7 JIMI “POSTER BOY” MANUWA (17-4-0) vs #15 THIAGO “DE LIMA MARRETA” SANTOS (19-6-0)
This is a three-round co-main event in the light heavyweight division. Manuwa brings boxing, Muay Thai, and jiu-jitsu. Santos brings Muay Thai, capoeira, and jiu-jitsu. Two heavy hitters; Manuwa is more powerful. He can stand and strike better while pressuring his opponents. Santos can do the same, but when under too much pressure he doesn’t perform well. Manuwa will be laying pressure on him until the stoppage. My prediction: Manuwa wins via knockout in Round 1.

#1 VALENTINA “THE BULLET” SHEVCHENKO (15-3-0) vs #1(WSW) JOANNA JEDRZEJCZYK (15-2-0)
This is a five-round co-main event for the vacant women’s flyweight championship. Shevchenko brings boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, judo, and taekwondo. Jedrzejczyk brings boxing, kickboxing, and Muay Thai. She is the former strawweight champion. Two of the best female strikers going at it will be fun. Both are aggressive and fast, but Shevchenko is more well-rounded. Her Muay Thai and taekwondo are always on point, which will give Jedrzejczyk trouble. Jedrzejczyk has Muay Thai of her own, but Shevchenko can also pace herself much better with it. My prediction: Shevchenko wins via TKO in Round 2.

(C) MAX “BLESSED” HOLLOWAY (19-3-0) vs #1 BRIAN “T-CITY” ORTEGA (14-0-0, 1 NC)
This is a five-round main event for the featherweight championship. Holloway brings kickboxing, Muay Thai, and jiu-jitsu. He is the current featherweight champion. Ortega brings boxing and jiu-jitsu. Two top fighters at the top of their game will make this an interesting fight. From what they both posses I see Holloway’s Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu getting the best of Ortega. Ortega has boxing to mix with his jiu-jitsu. However, Holloway is much faster and paces himself. Ortega’s only chance is to use his boxing and finish Holloway early in the fight. Holloway possesses magnificent speed: at the same time, unloading strikes wearing him down with each one. My prediction: Holloway wins via TKO in Round 3.