The Ultimate Fighting Championship series moves on to Canada where UFC 231 will be held in Ontario on Saturday 8 December in front of a sell-out crowd at the Scotiabank Arena. Let’s check out the best Holloway v Ortega betting tips and odds.
For those of us who can’t make it all the way to Toronto for a night of high class mixed martial arts action – that’ll be most – BT Sport come to the rescue when screening the best of the night’s bouts live; the main event is scheduled for a 04:00 GMT start.
The card looks one well worth setting your alarm for; certainly, those who do decide to stay up burning the midnight oil have plenty to concern themselves with. The bill is topped by a fascinating featherweight match-up between Max Holloway and Brian Ortega.
Strong supporting card
Supporting acts come in the form of Valentina Shevchenko v Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the women’s flyweight division; Renato Moicano v an opponent yet to be announced at featherweight; Claudio Gadelha v Nina Ansaroff, women’s strawweight and Jimi Manuwa v Thiago Santos coming to us from the light heavyweight division.
Fox Sports viewers can sit through the pick of the preliminary card with gems promised including Alex Oliviera v Gunnar Nelson welterweight and Eryk Anders v Elias Theodorou middleweight. If you are a subscriber to UFC Fight Pass there are another five evenly matched contests to enjoy; these include Brad Katona v Matthew Lopez at welterweight and Hakeem Dawodu v Kyle Bochniak set at featherweight.
Your choice of what to bet on
As well as having a choice of what fights to watch on the night, bookmakers have put in the coverage to ensure you have plenty at hand to bet on. There’s a list of exciting markets on the night’s big fights, offering a flood of attractively priced deals.
You can play it safe and have your say on the winner of each leg; perhaps throw a few together in a nice priced accumulator. If your luck is in and you call the outcomes correctly, you could be set for a decent pay-out from the bookies. Wouldn’t that just come at the right time of year with December always tough on the plastic?
Are you more of a risk taker? Then the method of victory market could be for you. Here, punters are asked to call both the winner of the fight and how they will get the job done – submission, points or KO/TKO. It’s tougher than predicting the bare result, of course, so why bother? Well, the rewards are far greater and, for less of an outgoing you could hit the jackpot. Bet small, win big – it’s the reason we love sports betting.
That’s our preferred approach and you’ll find our thoughts on the top of the bill tussle, our advice on how the results should go as well as which bookies are offering the best value to ensure you get the most for your stake money – vital if aiming to land a knockout blow on the traders at UFC 231.
Slow year for Holloway
26-year-old Max Holloway enters the octagon as the current, undisputed and reigning UFC featherweight champion. The 5ft 11inch former lightweight fights out of his base in Hawaii; he has a style that lends itself strongly to a background spent fighting Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The Gracie Technics representative is on a winning run that can be tracked back to 2013.
He brings an MMA record of 19 wins from 22 previous outings; Holloway has claimed nine of his victories by way of knockout with eight on points and two settled by submission. Of the three losses on his card he was headed on points twice and toppled by submission once. It’s easy to forgive Blessed at least part of those negative results as the most recent of them came against Conor McGregor on points over three rounds on UFC Fight Night Boston 2013. The other names on that list are Dennis Bermudez UFC 160 Las Vegas 2013 and Dustin Poirier UFC 143 Vegas 2012 when making his featherweight debut.
Since losing to McGregor, Holloway bounced back to win each of his next 12. A closer look at those results show seven by TKO, two submission and three points. Surprisingly, this will be the form fighter’s first bout of 2018; however, that is through no fault of his own. Three fights were pulled due to injury, one on the advice of the New York State Athletic Commission due to drastic weight loss to make a late notice bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Bookies stick with the champ
Bookies don’t appear to be too clear on who they think will win this fight and although Max Holloway is favourite, it remains a wide-open market. Punters looking to support the champion with their hard-earned cash should do so at 888Sport where they will get their hands on a generous looking 3/4 quote.
That suggests this will be a nip-and-tuck affair; however, one thing’s for sure, if Max performs to the best of his abilities and doesn’t carry any rustiness into this bout that offer will look massive come the first buzzer.
With the jolly beating Jose Aldo by TKO in each of his last two outings, stopping him on each occasion with a barrage of heavy-handed punches – the first winning him UFC 212 Fight of the Night – it’ll come as no shock to see supporters rush out to back their man for a similar result.
He’s 5/2 to win by KO/TKO, the same price for decision or a weighty 22/1 to win by submission, which suggests traders think it’s as good as a no hoper and a waste of your stake money. If backing Max, we would say go for the knockout result to nick a bit of extra profit.
Don’t underestimate Ortega
Californian Brian Ortega arrives at the venue with an MMA record reading 14 wins from 15 starts with seven of those coming by submission, four by decision and only three by knockout. Given the difference of power in both men this will be a tactical affair with T-City aiming to drag his man into the latter stages and test his updated staying power on the back of a difficult year.
The former lightweight’s spare result came as a no contest in July 2014 when fighting on a UFC card in San Jose. The bout was originally settled as a submission win for Ortega, but the record was changed after the victorious fighter tested positive for drostanolone.
A slight bump in the road and one he had no trouble getting over, bouncing back to win each of his next six, three by KO and the other three by submission. The 27-year-old was last seen knocking out Frankie Edgar on UFC 222 in a performance of the night fight and bookies haven’t been quick to forget that.
Ortega is the busier man of the two and can be backed at 11/10 – top price with William Hill. There’s more to be had, of course, with the submission win 5/2, decision 11/2 and KO/TKO 15/2. Those after a lively outsider to watch for interest stakes should consider the latter.